29 January 2015

If Earth falls, will interstellar space travel be our salvation?

Is this how space travel will look some day? ‘Sulu, punch it!’

Some climatologists argue it may be too late to reverse climate change, and it’s just a matter of time before the Earth becomes uninhabitable – if hundreds of years from now. The recent movie Interstellar raised the notion that we may one day have to escape a dying planet. As astrophysicists and avid science fiction fans, we naturally find the prospect of interstellar colonization intriguing and exciting. But is it practical, or even possible? Or is there a better solution?

Science fiction has painted a certain picture of space travel in popular culture. Drawing on stories of exploration from an age of tall ships, with a good helping of anachronisms and fantastical science, space exploration is often depicted in a romantic style: a crew of human travelers in high-tech ships wandering the Galaxy, making discoveries and reporting back home. Perhaps they even find habitable words, some teeming with life (typically humans with different-colored skin), and they trade, colonize, conquer or are conquered. Pretty much, they do as humans have always done since the dawn of their time on Earth.

How close do these ideas resemble what we may be able to achieve in the next few hundred years? The laws of physics and the principles of engineering will go a long way to helping us answer this question.

Nature’s speed limit

Nature has given us a speed limit. We call it the speed of light – about 186,000 miles per second – because we first noticed this phenomenon by studying the properties of light, but it is a hard upper limit on all relative speeds. So, if it takes light one year to get somewhere, we can’t possibly get there sooner than one year.

There is also the fact that the universe is big, really big. It takes light about eight minutes to get to our Sun, three years to get to the next-nearest star, 27,000 years to get to the center of our own Galaxy and more than 2,000,000 years to get to the next galaxy. The amazing thing about these distances is that, as far as the universe is concerned, this is all in the neighborhood.

The vast distances between solar systems combined with the speed-of-light limit puts severe constraints on the realities of space travel. Every space-based science fiction writer has to decide early on how to deal with this white elephant standing proudly in the room. Much of the more recent science fiction employs some form of “worm hole” or “warping space”: bending the four-dimensional structure of space and time to create shortcuts between two spatial locations in the universe.

Such possibilities have been analyzed with some mathematical rigor, and although the studies are tantalizing, they show that these methods cannot work unless we discover a form of matter that behaves very differently than anything we have ever seen.

Nature’s speed limit – light – means it’s unlikely we’ll be able to hop in a space ship and roam the galaxy. Until we develop ‘warp’ technology, that is.

Limits of propulsion

Practical space propulsion systems available today and for the foreseeable future are based on Newton’s laws. In order to move forward, we have to throw something backwards or get hit by something moving forward. It turns out that even using the best propulsion systems available, there is not enough mass in the entire Universe to propel even a single human being up to half the speed of light. Even relative speeds of 0.01% of the speed of light start to get prohibitively expensive.

Things look slightly better with advanced propulsion concepts such as thermonuclear propulsion, but optimistic near-future designs still top out at a few percent of the speed of light.

Finding a habitat for humanity

Large distances combined with low speeds means that exploration is going to take time. Astrobiologists tell us that our galaxy has no shortage of habitable worlds: estimates range from at least 1 every 10,000 stars to as many as 1 every 10 stars. Even so, given the vast distances between stars and the low speeds achievable by realistic spacecraft, you should plan on voyages between worlds taking centuries to millennia.

Consider also what is meant by a “habitable world.” To an astrobiologist, this means a planet with water oceans orbiting a sun-like star. But habitability by humans requires more than just water, and the chances that ordinary humans could simply step out and populate such a world is slim. The atmosphere and living ecosystem of Earth is the result of its own unique evolutionary history, one that is unlikely to occur coincidentally on any other planet.

Despite its current problems, the Earth is still far closer to the ideal that our species grew up in than any world we are likely to discover out in the Galaxy. Climatologists warn us of the devastation that could result from increasing the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere by less than a tenth of a percent. Compared to that, another living world, with its own unique ecology, would most likely have an environment that is unbreathable and infertile at best, lethally toxic at worst.

Terraforming, or modifying such a world to be habitable to humans, would require reconstructing its atmosphere and biosphere practically from scratch, eradicating any native ecosystem. This would be a task orders of magnitude more challenging than the relatively minor tweaks needed to restore the Earth’s environment to a pristine state.

Are there habitable worlds in this cloud of stars? Or at least ones we could make livable via terraforming?

Artificial worlds

Perhaps a more fundamental question, then, is why humans would wish to colonize other worlds. Given the centuries-long treks between stars, interstellar voyagers would necessarily have moved beyond the need for a planet to support their lifestyle: their vessels would be their habitat, autonomous and self-sufficient. They would not have to seek out new homes, they would build them.

From an economic standpoint, this would be vastly more resource-efficient than converting entire planets. NASA-sponsored researchers have developed detailed plans for spinning habitats that could accommodate tens or hundreds of thousands of inhabitants, from material that could be mined on site from an asteroid a few hundred meters across. This type of construction would avoid one of the major expenses of space colonization: the cost of lifting millions of tons of building materials into space.

Since our Solar system contains millions of such asteroids, they could support a population many times that of Earth, in air-conditioned comfort, with a fraction of the effort and none of the exotic technologies envisioned to terraform Mars, for example.

Clean and green: an interior rendering of the Torus, an artificial world imagined by scientists at NASA and Stanford. NASA
The torus, first conceived in 1975, consists of a doughnut-shaped ring, rotates once per minute to provide artificial gravity and could support 10,000 people. NASA

So why travel the stars?

Ultimately, travel to other stars and colonization of other planets will be driven not by need, but by desire: the intellectual impulse to explore strange new worlds, and perhaps an aesthetic preference for “natural” (albeit engineered) environments.

Where do we go now? The commercialization of space flight promises to bring the cost of space travel down considerably, from tens of thousands of dollars per kilogram to just hundreds of dollars per kilogram, through economies of scale and reusable rockets. This means that space will be more accessible to more and more people.

Already the lure of asteroid resources has fueled commercial competition. A single kilometer-sized metallic asteroid could supply hundreds of times the total known worldwide reserves of nickel, gold and other valuable metals. Space-based solar power could provide limitless renewable energy – once the cost of construction in space becomes manageable.

The hyper-exponential growth that we have seen in other areas like automobiles and computers can now take place for space technology. The physical realities described above paint a very clear picture of the near future: orbital habitats perfectly designed for our lifestyle using resources obtained from our Sun, Earth, and the asteroids.

So if Earth ever become uninhabitable, we won’t need to traverse the stars to find a new home. Orbital habitats will require a significant expansion of space industry, but this will happen soon enough, especially if we are forced to leave the planet for a little while so it can recover from our mistreatment.

Of course, if we discover warp drive, the picture will be entirely different.

Ex-Soviet leader Gorbachev warns new Cold War between Russia, West could spark fighting

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev says the confrontation between Russia and the West could spill into all-out war


MOSCOW—Ex-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev says the confrontation between Russia and the West could spill into all-out war.

More than 5,100 people have been killed in a bloody conflict in eastern Ukraine between government troops and pro-Russian separatists. Ukraine accuses Russia of aiding the separatists while Russia says the West is behind Ukraine’s attempts to retake the rebel-held areas.

Gorbachev, in comments to the Interfax news agency, said Thursday the West has “dragged” Russia into a new Cold War and warned of risks of a military confrontation:


Gorbachev was one of the architects of the peaceful dismantling of communist rule in eastern Europe.

Cosmic forces can transform mini-Neptunes into Earth-like planets

Strong irradiation from the host star can cause planets known as mini-Neptunes in the habitable zone to shed their gaseous envelopes and become potentially habitable worlds

Two phenomena known to inhibit the potential habitability of planets—tidal forces and vigorous stellar activity—might instead help chances for life on certain planets orbiting low-mass stars, University of Washington astronomers have found.

In a paper published this month in the journal Astrobiology, UW doctoral student Rodrigo Luger and co-author Rory Barnes, research assistant professor, say the two forces could combine to transform uninhabitable "mini-Neptunes"—big planets in outer orbits with solid cores and thick hydrogen atmospheres—into closer-in, gas-free, potentially habitable worlds.

Most of the stars in our galaxy are low-mass stars, also called M dwarfs. Smaller and dimmer than the sun, with close-in habitable zones, they make good targets for finding and studying potentially habitable planets. Astronomers expect to find many Earthlike and "super-Earth" planets in the habitable zones of these stars in coming years, so it's important to know if they might indeed support life.

Super-Earths are planets greater in mass than our own yet smaller than gas giants such as Neptune and Uranus. The habitable zone is that swath of space around a star that might allow liquid water on an orbiting rocky planet's surface, perhaps giving life a chance.

"There are many processes that are negligible on Earth but can affect the habitability of M dwarf planets," Luger said. "Two important ones are strong tidal effects and vigorous stellar activity."

A tidal force is a star's gravitational tug on an orbiting planet, and is stronger on the near side of the planet, facing the host star, than on the far side, since gravity weakens with distance. This pulling can stretch a world into an ellipsoidal or egglike shape as well as possibly causing it to migrate closer to its star.

"This is the reason we have ocean tides on Earth, as tidal forces from both the moon and the sun can tug on the oceans, creating a bulge that we experience as a high tide," Luger said. "Luckily, on Earth it's really only the water in the oceans that gets distorted, and only by a few feet. But close-in planets, like those in the habitable zones of M dwarfs, experience much stronger tidal forces."

This stretching causes friction in a planet's interior that gives off huge amounts of energy. This can drive surface volcanism and in some cases even heat the planet into a runaway greenhouse state, boiling away its oceans, and all chance of habitability.

Vigorous stellar activity also can destroy any chance for life on planets orbiting low-mass stars. M dwarfs are very bright when young and emit lots of high-energy X-rays and ultraviolet radiation that can heat a planet's upper atmosphere, spawning strong winds that can erode the atmosphere away entirely. In a recent paper, Luger and Barnes showed that a planet's entire surface water can be lost due to such stellar activity during the first few hundred million years following its formation.

"But things aren't necessarily as grim as they may sound," Luger said. Using computer models, the co-authors found that tidal forces and atmospheric escape can sometimes shape planets that start out as mini-Neptunes into gas-free, potentially habitable worlds.

How does this transformation happen?

Mini-Neptunes typically form far from their host star, with ice molecules joining with hydrogen and helium gases in great quantity to form icy/rocky cores surrounded by massive gaseous atmospheres.

"They are initially freezing cold, inhospitable worlds," Luger said. "But planets need not always remain in place. Alongside other processes, tidal forces can induce inward planet migration." This process can bring mini-Neptunes into their host star's habitable zone, where they are exposed to much higher levels of X-ray and ultraviolet radiation.

This can in turn lead to rapid loss of the atmospheric gases to space, sometimes leaving behind a hydrogen-free, rocky world smack dab in the habitable zone. The co-authors call such planets "habitable evaporated cores."

"Such a planet is likely to have abundant surface water, since its core is rich in water ice," Luger said. "Once in the habitable zone, this ice can melt and form oceans," perhaps leading to life.

Barnes and Luger note that many other conditions would have to be met for such planets to be habitable. One is the development of an atmosphere right for creating and recycling nutrients globally.

Another is simple timing. If hydrogen and helium loss is too slow while a planet is forming, a gaseous envelope would prevail and a rocky, terrestrial world may not form. If the world loses hydrogen too quickly, a runaway greenhouse state could result, with all water lost to space.

"The bottom line is that this process—the transformation of a mini-Neptune into an Earthlike world—could be a pathway to the formation of habitable worlds around M dwarf stars," Luger said.

Will they truly be habitable? That remains for future research to learn, Luger said.

"Either way, these evaporated cores are probably lurking out there in the habitable zones of these stars, and many may be discovered in the coming years."

28 January 2015

We have stardust in us as old as the universe

In this infrared image, stellar winds from a giant star cause interstellar dust to form ripples. There's a whole lot of dust—which contains oxygen, carbon, iron, nickel, and all the other elements—out there, and eventually some of it finds its way into our bodies

Astrophysicist Karel Schrijver, a senior fellow at the Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory, and his wife, Iris Schrijver, professor of pathology at Stanford University, have joined the dots in a new book, Living With the Stars: How the Human Body Is Connected to the Life Cycles of the Earth, the Planets, and the Stars.

Everything we are and everything in the universe and on Earth originated from stardust, and it continually floats through us even today. It directly connects us to the universe, rebuilding our bodies over and again over our lifetimes.

That was one of the biggest surprises for us in this book. We really didn't realize how impermanent we are, and that our bodies are made of remnants of stars and massive explosions in the galaxies. All the material in our bodies originates with that residual stardust, and it finds its way into plants, and from there into the nutrients that we need for everything we do—think, move, grow. And every few years the bulk of our bodies are newly created.

Stars are being born and stars are dying in this infrared snapshot of the heavens. You and I—we come from stardust

When the universe started, there was just hydrogen and a little helium and very little of anything else. Helium is not in our bodies. Hydrogen is, but that's not the bulk of our weight. Stars are like nuclear reactors. They take a fuel and convert it to something else. Hydrogen is formed into helium, and helium is built into carbon, nitrogen and oxygen, iron and sulfur—everything we're made of. When stars get to the end of their lives, they swell up and fall together again, throwing off their outer layers. If a star is heavy enough, it will explode in a supernova.

So most of the material that we're made of comes out of dying stars, or stars that died in explosions. And those stellar explosions continue. We have stuff in us as old as the universe, and then some stuff that landed here maybe only a hundred years ago. And all of that mixes in our bodies.

Very little of our physical bodies lasts for more than a few years. Of course, that's at odds with how we perceive ourselves when we look into the mirror. But we're not fixed at all. We're more like a pattern or a process. And it was the transience of the body and the flow of energy and matter needed to counter that impermanence that led us to explore our interconnectedness with the universe.

Our bodies are never static. We're dynamic beings, and we have to be dynamic to remain alive. This is not just true for us humans. It's true for all living things.

Whatever you mention, its history began in outer space. Take salt. What we usually mean by salt is kitchen salt. It has two chemicals, sodium and chloride. Where did they come from? They were formed inside stars that exploded billions of years ago and at some point found their way onto the Earth. Stellar explosions are still going on today in the galaxy, so some of the chlorine we're eating in salt was made only recently.

Zionist supremacists attack French Comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala


The provocative French comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala stood trial in criminal court on Wednesday over a comment he made lamenting that a prominent Jewish journalist did not die in “the gas chambers,” prosecutors said.

Mr. M’bala M’bala has become an emblem in France of the struggle between upholding the secular republic’s commitment to free speech while maintaining public safety and preventing “hate crimes.”

That tension was once again laid bare after the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, when Mr. M’bala M’bala was detained over comments suggesting that he sympathized with Amedy Coulibaly, the gunman who killed four hostages at a kosher supermarket before being killed by the police.

The case being tried Wednesday against Mr. M’bala M’bala, on charges of inciting racial hatred, dates to 2013 when footage of him taken by a hidden camera was broadcast on France 2, including his comment about the journalist, Patrick Cohen. The comment helped prompt a police investigation and a government ban of his show. France has stringent laws restricting racist speech; if found guilty, he could face one year in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros, or about $51,000.

Mr. M’bala M’bala has been charged nearly 40 times with violating anti-hate laws. In the past, he has sought to circumvent restrictions imposed on him by turning to the Internet and to social media, where he has accumulated a large and loyal following.

Zionist-plutocrats prepare exit strategy


Super rich hedge fund managers are buying 'secret boltholes' where they can hideout in the event of civil uprising against growing inequality, it has been claimed.

Nervous financiers from across the globe have begun purchasing landing strips, homes and land in areas such as New Zealand so they can flee should people rise up.

With growing inequality and riots such as those in London in 2011 and in Ferguson and other parts of the USA last year, many financial leaders fear they could become targets for public fury.

Robert Johnson, president of the Institute of New Economic Thinking, told people at the World Economic Forum in Davos that many hedge fund managers were already planning their escapes.

He said: “I know hedge fund managers all over the world who are buying airstrips and farms in places like New Zealand because they think they need a getaway."

Mr Johnson, said the economic situation could soon become intolerable as even in the richest countries inequality was increasing.

Escape: Rich financiers have put plans in place to getaway from rioters

He said: "People need to know there are possibilities for their children – that they will have the same opportunity as anyone else.

"There is a wicked feedback loop. Politicians who get more money tend to use it to get more even money."

His comments were backed up by Stewart Wallis, executive director of the New Economics Foundation, who when asked about the comments told CNBC Africa: "Getaway cars the airstrips in New Zealand and all that sort of thing, so basically a way to get off.  If they can get off, onto another planet, some of them would."

He added: "I think the rich are worried and they should be worried. I mean inequality, why does it matter?

"Most people have heard the Oxfam statistics that now we’ve got 80, the 80 richest people in the world, having more wealth that the bottom three-point-five billion, and very soon we’ll get a situation where that one percent, one percent of the richest people have more wealth than everybody else, the 99."

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: ZOG Educational Policies Bear Fruit - State Board Votes to Take Over Little Rock School District

Little Rock, Arkansas: 1957
ZOG proceeds with its planned destruction of American society

The Arkansas Board of Education voted Wednesday to take control of Little Rock schools less than six months after a federal judge granted more independence to the historically embattled district and ended a quarter-century of payments to boost integration.

The state last year classified six of the district's 48 schools as being in academic distress after fewer than half of the students attending them scored at proficient levels on achievement tests. About 45 percent of high school students in the district are at campuses designated as underperforming. The Little Rock School District is the state's largest with nearly 25,000 students.

The board's 5-4 decision at a special meeting in Little Rock followed nearly four hours of public testimony from students, teachers and community members who overwhelmingly opposed the takeover.

The judge in August signed an order that will stop payments the state has been making to the district since 1989. The district sued the state in 1982, alleging state policies were still creating a racial imbalance despite changes made since nine black teenagers were escorted into Central High School by federal troops in 1957.

State board members who advocated the change said they want to provide a better education to the students in the under-performing schools and expressed concerns about the district's ability to budget properly after the integration payments stop in 2018.

27 January 2015

Ancient star system reveals Earth-sized planets forming near start of universe


A Sun-like star with orbiting planets, dating back to the dawn of the Galaxy, has been discovered by an international team of astronomers.

At 11.2 billion years old it is the oldest star with earth-sized planets ever found and proves that such planets have formed throughout the history of the Universe.

The discovery, announced on 28 January (AEDT) in the Astrophysical Journal, used observations made by NASA's Kepler satellite. The scientific collaboration was led by the University of Birmingham and contributed to by the University of Sydney.

The star, named Kepler-444, hosts five planets smaller than Earth, with sizes varying between those of Mercury and Venus.

Kepler-444 hosts five Earth-sized planets in very compact orbits. The planets were detected from the dimming that occurs when they transit the disc of their parent star, as shown in this artist's conception

"We've never seen anything like this - it is such an old star and the large number of small planets make it very special," said Dr Daniel Huber from the University's School of Physics and an author on the paper.

"It is extraordinary that such an ancient system of terrestrial-sized planets formed when the universe was just starting out, at a fifth its current age. Kepler-444 is two and a half times older than our solar system, which is only a youthful 4.5 billion years old.

"This tells us that planets this size have formed for most of the history of the universe and we are much better placed to understand exactly when this began happening."

Dr Tiago Campante, the research leader from the University of Birmingham said, "We now know that Earth-sized planets have formed throughout most of the Universe's 13.8-billion-year history, which could provide scope for the existence of ancient life in the Galaxy."

Together with their international colleagues the University's astronomy team used asteroseismology to determine the age of the star and planets. This technique measures oscillations - the natural resonances of the host star caused by sound waves trapped within it.

They lead to miniscule changes or pulses in the star's brightness and allow researchers to measure its diameter, mass, and age. The presence and size of the planets is detected by the dimming that occurs when the planets pass across the face of the star. This fading in the intensity of the light received from the star enables scientists to accurately measure the sizes of the planets relative to the size of the star.

Kepler-444 planets compared to the sized of planets in the inner solar system

26 January 2015

Researcher explores how the universe creates reason, morality

evolutionary transubstantiation

Recent developments in science are beginning to suggest that the universe naturally produces complexity. The emergence of life in general and perhaps even rational life, with its associated technological culture, may be extremely common, argues Clemson researcher Kelly Smith in a recently published paper in the journal Space Policy.

What's more, he suggests, this universal tendency has distinctly religious overtones and may even establish a truly universal basis for morality.

Smith, a Philosopher and Evolutionary Biologist, applies recent theoretical developments in Biology and Complex Systems Theory to attempt new answers to the kind of enduring questions about human purpose and obligation that have long been considered the sole province of the humanities.

He points out that scientists are increasingly beginning to discuss how the basic structure of the universe seems to favor the creation of complexity. The large scale history of the universe strongly suggests a trend of increasing complexity: disordered energy states produce atoms and molecules, which combine to form suns and associated planets, on which life evolves. Life then seems to exhibit its own pattern of increasing complexity, with simple organisms getting more complex over evolutionary time until they eventually develop rationality and complex culture.

And recent theoretical developments in Biology and complex systems theory suggest this trend may be real, arising from the basic structure of the universe in a predictable fashion.

"If this is right," says Smith, "you can look at the universe as a kind of 'complexity machine', which raises all sorts of questions about what this means in a broader sense. For example, does believing the universe is structured to produce complexity in general, and rational creatures in particular, constitute a religious belief? It need not imply that the universe was created by a God, but on the other hand, it does suggest that the kind of rationality we hold dear is not an accident."

And Smith feels another similarity to religion are the potential moral implications of this idea. If evolution tends to favor the development of sociality, reason, and culture as a kind of "package deal", then it's a good bet that any smart extraterrestrials we encounter will have similar evolved attitudes about their basic moral commitments.

In particular, they will likely agree with us that there is something morally special about rational, social creatures. And such universal agreement, argues Smith, could be the foundation for a truly universal system of ethics.

Smith will soon take sabbatical to lay the groundwork for a book exploring these issues in more detail.

Half of Germans have 'poor view of Israel'

Zionist Occupied Berlin

The paper, "Germany and Israel Today: Linked by the Past, Divided by the Present?", by Germany's Bertelsmann Foundation, said that only 36% of Germans have a positive attitude towards the country, while 48% say that their opinion of Israel is poor. 

"This figure rises to 54% among the age group between 18 and 29 years. Attitudes towards the Israeli government are especially critical, with 62% of Germans expressing a negative opinion," the paper said. 

"The perception of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has an increasingly dominant impact on the way Germans view Israel as a whole." 

The results of the study, published as the world is set to mark 70 years since the Zionist-plutocracy's conquest of Germany, were obtained after researchers analysed surveys conducted by polling firm TNS Emnid on behalf of the Bertelsmann Foundation in January 2013 in Germany and among Jewish Israelis.

Survey data from 1991 and 2007 were used for comparison purposes.

"84% of Israelis hope that the German government will provide political support for Israel in the Middle East conflict, but one in two Germans opposes such support," the paper said. "Similarly, 82% of Israelis want Germany to supply weapons to Israel, but 68% of Germans reject this idea." 

Stephan Vopel, the foundation's expert on Israel, explained that in the early 1990s, one in four Germans believed that only Israel should make concessions in the Palestinian conflict, but today, only one in six still holds this view.

At the same time, 73% believe that Israelis and Palestinians should be equally willing to compromise in order to achieve peace, and a majority (53%) among Israeli respondents share this view.

A good opinion of Germany has increased among Israelis as only 48% of Jews had a positive attitude towards Germany in 1991, while today the percentage has risen to 68%. 

"It must be noted, however, that Germany's image is better among older Israelis than among their younger compatriots. While approximately 80% of Israelis aged over 50 view Germany in a positive light, the same is true of only 53% of those under 30," the paper said. 

-------------------------

The remainder of the article, which can be found here, is composed of garden-variety Zio-Orwellian doublespeak, which conflates so-called "anti-Semitism" with the rational perception of reality, as the was the customary, never-ending guilt-trip inversion of truth and control-mechanism rhetoric.

Cosmic echoes may offer new glimpse of the Big Seed

SIC ITUR AD ASTRA!

Echoes bouncing around the universe might be carrying messages from shortly after the Big Seed.

The earliest light in the universe is more than 13 billion years old, its photons dating back to an era when plasma generated in the Big Seed cooled enough to let light through. These photons carry information about the state of the early universe, but have been growing ever fainter. Now they form the cosmic microwave background, a low-level sea of radiation permeating the universe.

Eduardo Martín-Martínez of the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, and his colleagues think they have found another, better-preserved source of clues about the very early universe. They calculated that events which produce photons – such as an atom releasing energy – also create certain echoes in the electromagnetic field, the very field which forms the basis of light.

To test how these could carry information, the team imagined someone in the early universe sending a message into the distant future by creating a series of echoes and using them to encode a string of 0s and 1s. These echoes travel slower than light but do not fade, meaning they can carry more information than photons over large distances (arxiv.org/abs/1501.01650).

"We prove how an intelligent entity can use this phenomenon to transmit much more information than just plainly sending a radio signal," says Martín-Martínez. Of course, it's pretty unlikely that intelligent aliens from the distant past are trying to signal us in this way, but the principle means it could be worthwhile for cosmologists to look out for these echoes.

"Information about background signals from the early universe will also be propagated through this echo," he says. The challenge is to figure out precisely what form the echoes will take and how to build receivers that can pick them up.

25 January 2015

Greece's Pro-White Party Golden Dawn Is Headed For Third Place In Election


The future of pro-White activism in Greece is no longer in doubt. It looks like it is here to stay.

The patriotic, pro-White Golden Dawn party, which has nationalist roots, appears headed for a third-place finish in Sunday's election. Its showing comes despite the fact that the party's leader and most of its lawmakers are unjustly behind bars, facing trumped-up charges.

With more than 90 percent of the voting precincts reporting, Golden Dawn was receiving 6.3 percent of the vote, narrowly leading the centrist Potami ("River") with 6.04 percent. Both parties exceeded the 3 percent minimum required to gain seats in the 300-member parliament — with each forecast to win 17 seats.

Its share of the vote doesn't match the 9.39 percent it received in last June's European Parliament election in which Golden Dawn also finished third. It also trails the 6.92 percent won in the previous national election, in June 2012.

But considering the level of persecution waged against it by the international Zionist-plutocracy, the result obtained Sunday may be even more significant. This is no longer merely an angry protest vote, a one-off voters' tiff with "corrupt politicians." This is an established vote and a hardened electorate.


Golden Dawn leader Nikos Mihaloliakos and his top lieutenants were imprisoned and therefore unable to campaign ahead of the election. But they were free to stand as candidates because they have not yet gone to trial. Some of them, including Mihaloliakos, may soon be set free when their 18-month maximum pre-trial detention limit is reached.

In a taped statement Sunday, Mihaloliakos celebrated his party's performance.

"We achieved this great victory despite the fact that we could not be guaranteed an equal and so-called democratic election as the regime likes to call it, shunned by all (media), facing mudslinging and slander from all sides ... having to campaign through a payphone. We have a fresh mandate ... everyone fought to keep Golden Dawn away and they lost. Golden Dawn won," Mihalioliakos said in his taped message.

In a further twist, if the radical left Syriza party, the winner of the election, fails to achieve an outright majority, a prospect still possible early Monday, it might fail to form a government and return the mandate, given to it by the President of the Republic. In that case, the second party takes up the mandate and, if it fails in turn, the third party does.

The prospect of a handcuffed Mihaloliakos, escorted by police to meet the Greek president to be asked to try to form a government, sends jitters throughout the political class.

Incredible discovery of the oldest depiction of the universe almost lost to the black market



The design on this disc might look like a six-year-old’s scribbles, but in reality, it’s one of the most sophisticated and influential artifacts of the Bronze Age.

And it might never have been discovered if not for a couple of illegal treasure hunters who dug it up and sold it on the black market.

Called the Nebra sky disc, named for the town where it was found in 1999, the artifact has been dated back to 1600 BC. It’s thought to have been forged during the European Bronze Age, a period between 3200 and 600 BC.

The disc’s discovery stunned archaeologists, who thought of the Bronze Age as brutal, uncivilized times of killing and little else — most artifacts we’ve found are swords and other weapons designed for battle.

The disc is about one foot across and weighs nearly five pounds. When it was first crafted, it would have shone a brilliant golden brown because the disc itself is made from bronze. But over time, the bronze corroded to green.

The symbols are made of gold and didn’t corrode. Although experts do not agree on what each symbol represents, for example the full circle could be the sun, full moon, or some type of eclipse, the overall message is clear that the symbols represent celestial objects.

This disc meant that the people of the Bronze Age were not an uncivilized culture that only crafted weapons for killing. Instead, the people who lived at this time had an intellectual understanding of the sky.

Police-Led Sting For The Find Of The Century

For millennia, the disc was buried in the Seigelroda Forest in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt near a town called Nebra. But in 1999, two men, Henry Westphal and Mario Renner, were hunting for buried treasure in the forest when their metal detectors led them to an underground stash. They uncovered two bronze swords, two hatchets, a chisel, fragments of bracelets, and the beautifully decorated disc.


According to state law in Saxony-Anhalt, all archaeological artifacts are the property of the state. Westphal and Renner had no license to dig for artifacts of any kind, and no legal right to the collection. But that didn’t stop them from selling everything they found on the black market.

Over the next few years the entire collection became a well-known commodity and was traded multiple times on the black market selling for up to one million Deutsch Mark (roughly $590,000). Then, in 2002, archaeologist Herald Meller arranged a meeting with the current holders to purchase the disc, alone, for 700,000 DM ($350,000). But the meeting was not what it seemed.

Meller was collaborating with the state police to recover the priceless artifacts, and within seconds of the dealers’ reveal of the disc, the police swooped in and arrested them. Eventually, the disc was traced back to Westphal and Renner who were sentenced to jail time.

Spotting A Fake

Archeologists were stunned when they finally got a good, close look at the artifact. The Nebra sky disc was unlike any other artifact of its time. Some archaeologists thought the disc was too incredible to be real.

“When I first heard about the Nebra Disc I thought it was a joke, indeed I thought it was a forgery,” Richard Harrison told the BBC in a documentary of the disc. Harrison is a professor of European prehistory at the University of Bristol and expert on the culture that inhabited Germany during the Bronze Age. “Because it’s such an extraordinary piece that it wouldn’t surprise any of us that a clever forger had cooked this up in a backroom and sold it for a lot of money.”


The disc was sent to the laboratory of Heinrich Wunderlich at the Museum of Halle in Eastern Germany. Heinrich specializes in dating artifacts from the Bronze age. If the disc was a fake, he could easily find out by studying the greenish bronze covering the disc.

Bronze disease is the corrosive process that occurs when chloride molecules, such as chloride salts in soil, interact with bronze (or other copper-based materials). The result is a chemical reaction producing microscopic crystals that look either white or green. Over time, these crystals grow larger, which means that Wunderlich could easily spot a forgery by looking at the size of the crystals.

When he looked under the microscope, he saw large crystals, which resembled large bubbles, shown in the image below, which spoke to the disc’s authenticity. It was no fake.

“When I saw down the microscope, I saw structure which was like bubbles,” Wunderlich told BBC. “This cannot be made artificially. You can’t fake time.”

Secrets Of The Nebra Sky disc

Scientists have dated the disc to the time it was buried underground, but they don’t know exactly when it was made. It was buried about 3,600 years ago but could be much older.

In addition to its age, the precise meaning of the disc eludes explanation. But an expert in Bronze Age religions, Miranda Aldhouse Green, at Cardiff University in the UK, has put together a general picture of what it might have meant for the people who used it thousands of years ago.

Below is a labeled version of the disc, but you’ll have to translate some of the words since they’re in German.

There are six objects of importance depicted on the disc:
  • Sun (or full Moon or a type of solar or lunar eclipse)
  • Crescent Moon
  • Sun Boat
  • Pleiades Constellation
  • Left arc
  • Right arc
It makes sense that the full circle slightly left of center would be the sun, Green said in the BBC documentary, “The sun is absolutely central to northern European Bronze Age religion. There’s a clear connection between the sun and life. If the sun disappears then life comes to an end.”

And the crescent shape is likely a crescent moon. In ancient times, the moon was used to represent time, and, “if you can control time, and if you understand time, then you are a powerful, a powerful human being,” Green said.

Then there’s the smiley-shaped band beneath the sun and moon, which Green suspects is the sun boat — an ancient holy symbol. Bronze Age Europeans believed that the sun traveled on a sun boat when it set at night.


The smaller circles speckled across the disc seem to represent stars. In particular, the concentrated clump between the sun and moon are thought to be the Pleiades constellation, which was an imporant constellation for Bronze Age farmers because it first appeared in March and disappeared in October — important farming times.

“We know from Greek writers that the Pleiades were used as an agricultural marker, so that farmers knew when they should do certain agricultural activities,” Green said. “So what the Nebra disc does is to tell people not only the right time to [plant and harvest] but it is the blessed time to do it.”

The left and right arcs on either side of the disc have an additional agricultural importance and were crucial in helping scientists determine that the disc was European-made.

The Dawn Of European Civilization

After analyzing these fairly simple explanations, archaeologists around the world started asking other questions: What did the arcs represent? Was the disc actually an artifact forged by Bronze Age Europeans? Or was it from another culture and managed to make its way into Germany by some unknown means?

It was astronomer Wolfhard Schlosser, at the University of Hamburg, who made the connection. He found that if you draw a line from the center of the disc to the top and bottom end of the right arc, the angle between the two ends measures exactly 82 degrees. And it’s the same value for the left golden arc.

This number is very important for only a small group of people who live at the same latitude as the current German town of Nebra. That’s because it’s the angle between where the sun sets on the horizon in mid-winter and mid-summer.

“The angle between both is precisely eighty two degrees,” Schlosser told BBC. “This angle responds to the journey of the sun between summer and winter for this specific latitude right here in Nebra.”

Although Schlosser’s find offered compelling evidence that the disc was crafted in Europe, the only way to determine beyond any doubt was to discover where the metals came from.


Archaeologist Ernst Pernicka further investigated the copper within the bronze. Copper has a unique fingerprint that Pernicka used to compare copper in Bronze Age mines versus Mediterranean metals. From this, he traced the disc’s metal to a European mine, confirming that the disc was manufactured from European metal and was not a gift crafted by another culture.

After millennia under ground and years on the black market, the disc today is safe and on public display at the State Museum of Prehistory in Halle, Germany.

In 2013, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization inducted the disc into their Memory of the World Register stating:

The bronze disc is considered to be one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th Century. It combines an extraordinary comprehension of astronomical phenomena with the religious beliefs of its period, that enable unique glimpses into the early knowledge of the heavens.

24 January 2015

New pro-White sentiment hits German streets

Demonstrators bear flags of several European countries during a rally of the group Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West, or PEGIDA, in Dresden, Germany

DRESDEN, Germany — Ahmed, a 36-year-old Moroccan, hoped to find a better life in Europe’s economic powerhouse, Germany. But these days in Dresden, he said, he is afraid to walk the streets.

This urban phoenix rebuilt from ashes after World War II is the center of a movement against immigrants — Muslims in particular — that has shocked much of the rest of Germany even as anti-immigration marches have spread to 10 cities nationwide. Downtown Dresden, Ahmed and other immigrants here say, has become a no-go zone for them on Monday nights, when the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West — or Pegida, in German — stages its weekly rallies.

Since the movement was founded here last October, refugee advocates say the number of aggressive acts against foreigners has sharply increased. After one Pegida rally just before Christmas, for instance, demonstrators chased a group of young refugees, leaving a 15-year-old girl battered and bruised.

“When I go out, I put on a hat and wear it low over my face,” said Ahmed, a resident in a shelter for asylum seekers who was too frightened to give his last name. “I don’t want them to see I’m not from here.”

Devastated in a firestorm caused by Allied bombing in 1945, Dresden is a symbol of perseverance, emerging in the years after German reunification as a beacon for tourists drawn to its museums and beautifully reconstructed city center. But especially after the attacks in France staged by Islamist extremists this month, this city also now stands as a bellwether of the friction between local communities and the fastest growing religion in Europe: Islam.


Police officers walk past burning trash cans on the sidelines of a counter demonstration against Legida, the local offspring of the anti-islamization PEGIDA movement in Leipzig, eastern Germany. 

Last year, Pegida was born amid a Europe-wide surge of asylum seekers, many of them arriving from war-torn Muslim countries including Syria and Libya. Germany alone received 200,000 new asylum applications in 2014 — a 60 percent jump from a year earlier.

Pro-White nationalists have been soaring in polls from Britain to Hungary, France to Greece. But until the rise of Pegida, such voices had been largely drowned out in Germany — Western Europe’s most populous nation.

Globally — according to a new Gallop poll previewed at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland — Europeans are the most negative on immigration in a world where most other regions, including North America, show a significantly higher level of tolerance. Europe had the highest portion of respondents, 52.1 percent, calling for a decrease in immigration as well as the lowest number, 7.5 percent, voicing support for increasing it.

Police officers walk past burning trash cans on the sidelines of a counter demonstration against Legida, the local offspring of the anti-islamization PEGIDA movement in Leipzig, eastern Germany

Yet with a low birth rate and the need for more future workers to keep its factories humming, Germany has been something of an outlier in the region. It has adopted a relatively more positive official stance toward immigration — and witnessed less grass roots opposition — than many of its neighbors.

Enter Pegida.

As the movement has grown, tens of thousands of Germans also have risen up to condemn Pegida, taking to the streets in counter demonstrations that have often been far larger that the anti-Islamic, anti-immigrant rallies they are opposing. Yet the Pegida movement has seemed to tap into a hidden vein of German angst.

Some here are worried not only about the new asylum seekers, but also about the growing numbers of other migrants entering Europe’s largest and strongest economy. Equally vexing to many is the lack of assimilation among a significant number of Muslim immigrants, some of whom came to Germany decades ago. Last September, for example, Germans were outraged after a stunt in the city of Wuppertal in which 11 devout Muslims wearing the words “Sharia Police” on bright orange vests approached Turkish nightclubs and cafes and warned young partygoers that they were violating Islamic law by drinking.

Such fears have surfaced as security concerns are mounting in Germany and across Europe over the threat of homegrown terror. As in France, hundreds of radicalized young Germans — many of them the second and third generation sons and daughters of Muslim immigrants — have left to fight with extremists in Syria and Iraq.

“How is it possible that parallel societies are forming in Germany?” Pegida spokeswoman Kathrin Oertel said on German TV last week. “That Islamic judges have the right to administer justice, and that Islamic schools are inciting hatred against German citizens?”

Nevertheless, senior German politicians — led by Zionist Whoremaster Angela Merkel — have blasted Pegida supporters as intolerant extremists for whom there is no place in modern German society. “Every exclusion of Muslims in Germany, every general suspicion is out of the question,” Merkel said in the days after the Paris attacks. “We will not let ourselves be divided.”

Other politicians, however, have seemed to suggest subtly that Pegida may have a point. Thomas Strobl, an influential parliamentarian from the center right, called this week for Germany to quickly deport refugees who are without legitimate asylum claims. “If some countries carry out almost no deportations anymore, this verges on a surrender of the rule of law,” he told the Rheinische Post newspaper.

The wave of protests has brought new tension to German streets, including swarms of riot police seeking, sometimes in vain, to separate pro- and anti-Pegida demonstrators.

“We saw what happened 75 year ago,” said Willi Lübke, 64, a pharmaceuticals salesman who turned out on the streets of the nearby city of Leipzig on Wednesday night. He joined a crowd of 20,000 people rallying against Pegida, whose protest Wednesday evening in the same city drew roughly 15,000, according to police.

“I see these Pegida people now and I think, did they learn nothing from our history?” he said. “Germany now must be a place of self-negation and indigenous suicide.”

Across a metal barrier and lines of riot police separating the two groups, Thomas Renner, 60, a taxi driver, insisted it was time for Germans to take a stand.

“This is not about racism but about control,” he said. In the Pegida crowds, one protester held a placard depicting Merkel in a Muslim veil. Another sign blamed perceived German woes on the “lying policies of the Synagogues.”

“They come here, wanting to force their mentalities on Germans,” Renner scoffed. “All these women in veils. We need a new immigration law.”

Nowhere in Germany are tensions running higher than in Dresden, where local authorities say the movement gained steam after they floated a proposal to add 12 new shelters for asylum seekers. German authorities have been totally overwhelmed by the surge, and have shuttled new arrivals to cities across the nation, including Dresden, to await processing. Yet the new faces particularly stand out in Dresden, where less than 10 percent of the population is non-German.

Dresden is also no stranger to far-right extremism in the streets. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, it became, for a time, a staging area for anti-immigrant skinheads and neo-Nazi groups. But Pegida’s ranks have included a more diverse grouping, including middle-class housewives and business owners. The movement has additionally become a hodgepodge of general discontent, tapping into old East German resentment in a part of the country with a higher unemployment rate than the national average. It has also become a home for both pro-Russian and anti-European Union sentiments.


According to the victim’s assistance group RAA Sachsen, racially motivated attacks in Dresden rose to 12 in October and December last year, four more than during the same period a year earlier. The immigrant community here was particularly rattled last week by the stabbing death of a 20-year-old asylum seeker from Eritrea. Police initially misidentified his death as a possible accident, later changing their assessment and opening a homicide case. The episode sparked indignation among immigrants as well as fears that the killing might have been a xenophobic attack.

As it turned out, one of the man’s Eritrean roommates confessed to the crime, a fact on which the Pegida movement immediate seized. “YOU ARE HIPOCRITES AND LIARS!” read a post on its Facebook page Thursday in a statement apparently addressed to those who had pointed the finger at its followers.

In a shelter for asylum seekers, though, fears had been building well before the slaying. A 26-year-old Moroccan, who gave his name only as Mustafa, said he was punched last year by a German man in a railway station, “just for being there.”

“This is not what I expected when I came to Germany,” he said. “In other parts of Germany, I think the people must be nicer. But not here. Here, they are against us.”

Deputy Mayor Dirk Hilbert, who has a Korean wife, said it is wrong to paint all of Dresden in the colors of Pegida.

“My wife has almost never had any negative problems here,” he said. “And the only time she did, it came from a Turkish man on the street.”