Why Extremely Rare Events Keep Happening All the Time

Something weird seems to be happening in the heavens. This week marks a coincidence of the full moon and the summer solstice. Some astronomers are calling this combination of maximum moonlight and the Northern Hemisphere’s longest day a rare event.

It comes close on the heels of last month’s rare passage of Mercury in front of the sun, September’s rare pairing of a lunar eclipse with a so-called supermoon, the rare 2014 “tetrad” of lunar eclipses, the rare 2012 transit of Venus, and a plethora of once-in-a-lifetime planetary alignments, one earlier this year, one in 2014 and one in the summer of 2013. Next year there will be a rare total eclipse of the sun.

If these sorts of events are so rare, why do they happen so often?

Ask a statistician. David Hand, a professor at Imperial College London makes sense of world’s abundance of rare events in his 2014 book, “The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles and Rare Events Happen Every Day” . . .

The fact that astronomers could present either the event or its absence as noteworthy makes some sense in light of what Hand calls “the close-enough effect.” This effect comes into play in news stories about people who win the lottery more than once, he said. Often one “win” is really a more commonplace second and third prize. The more you relax the definition of winning, the greater the odds it will happen twice. (Read more from “Why Extremely Rare Events Keep Happening All the Time” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.


Large-Scale Motion Detected Near San Andreas Fault System

Analysis of GPS data has revealed new areas of motion around the San Andreas Fault System.

Using data collected by the EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory’s GPS array, researchers identified 125-mile-wide “lobes” of uplift and subsidence. Over the last several years, the lobes, which straddle the fault line, have hosted a few millimeters of annual movement . . .

Researchers used advanced statistical modeling to identify the movement among the inevitable statistical noise that comes with monitoring minute movements in the Earth’s crust.

“While the San Andreas GPS data has been publicly available for more than a decade, the vertical component of the measurements had largely been ignored in tectonic investigations because of difficulties in interpreting the noisy data,” lead author Samuel Howell, a researcher at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, explained in a news release. “Using this technique, we were able to break down the noisy signals to isolate a simple vertical motion pattern that curiously straddled the San Andreas fault.” (Read more from “Large-Scale Motion Detected Near San Andreas Fault System” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.


Scientists Have Discovered How to Implant False Memories

MIT researchers Steve Ramirez and Xu Liu recently made history when they successfully implanted a false memory into the mind of a mouse. The proof was a simple reaction from the rodent, but the implications are vast. They placed the furry little creature inside a metal box, and it froze, displaying a distinct fear response. The mouse was reacting as if it had received an electrical shock there, when it hadn’t at all.

What makes it more riveting is that their success was considered a long-shot. The hypothesis was that not only could they identify those neurons associated with encoding memory, but could essentially rewrite one. Experts say that this an impressive feat which helps uncover more of the mystery of how memory operates. Though neuroscientists have considered such a possibility for years, they never thought this kind of experiment could actually work.

This breakthrough was possible due to research out of Oxford which discovered exactly how short-term memories are transferred into long term memory. But the MIT researchers took it into an entirely new direction. Memories are actually stored in not one area, but certain groups of neurons known as engrams. Ramirez and Liu came together in 2010 and designed a new method for exploring live brains, to identify specific engrams. The neuroscientists used a newly minted technique called optogenetics, which employs lasers to stimulate genetically engineered cells designed to react to them. (Read more from “Scientists Have Discovered How to Implant False Memories” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.


FedEx Is in Court for Allegedly Being the World’s Most Efficient Drug Dealer

Shipping company FedEx is up against the U.S. government in court Monday for allegedly trafficking all sorts of prescription drugs to addicts through online pharmacies.

The Tennessee-based shipping firm is accused of knowingly doling out prescription drugs to users without prescriptions since 2000. FedEx shipped Valium and Xanax to sketchy public addresses like parking lots and abandoned homes.

A San Francisco grand jury indicted FedEx for its alleged drug trafficking back in July 2014. The delivery services company is said to have teamed up with Superior Drugs and Chhabra Smoley Organization, two online pharmacies, to sell drugs to desperate people.

At the time of the indictment, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag said, “The advent of Internet pharmacies allowed the cheap and easy distribution of massive amounts of illegal prescription drugs to every corner of the United States, while allowing perpetrators to conceal their identities through the anonymity the Internet provides.” Haag went on to state, “This indictment highlights the importance of holding corporations that knowingly enable illegal activity responsible for their role in aiding criminal behavior.”

The judge presiding over the trial is Senior District Judge Charles R. Breyer of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Breyer is the brother of Associate Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

Breyer has made his doubts clear with the case and questioned why prosecutors have not gone after the U.S. Postal Service for the same kind of illegally drug deliveries. The “essential ingredient,” to the prosecution’s case, or a smoking gun proving FedEx knew about its shady customers, seems to be lacking according Breyer.

If found guilty of money laundering and conspiracy, FedEx could be fined up to $1.6 billion. FedEx claims that the government should let them know if they are dealing with illegal retailers. It has been decided by both the prosecution and the defense that the trial will be decided by the judge’s ruling rather than a jury.

FedEx has stated since the indictment that the firm will gladly stop dealing with illegal businesses if the DEA would just give them a list of illegitimate recipients. Despite the firm’s willingness to stop any inadvertent illegal activity, the DEA has not told FedEx which of its clients is involved in illegal activities.

Top FedEx competitor UPS settled charges in a case much like this one back in 2013 to the tune of $40 million. Some of the lawyers representing FedEx, gave their legal counsel to retired baseball player Barry Bonds regarding steroids. (For more from the author of “FedEx Is in Court for Allegedly Being the World’s Most Efficient Drug Dealer” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.


World Famous Scientist: God Created the Universe

Michio Kaku has made a name for himself as a world-leading theoretical physicist unafraid to speak his mind.

Kaku, the Henry Semat Chair and Professorship in theoretical physics at the City College of New York, has published more than 70 articles in physics journals on topics such as supersymmetry, superstring theory, supergravity, and hadronic physics.

His latest claim is likely to make waves in the world of science.

“I have concluded that we are in a world made by rules created by an intelligence”, Kaku says in a video produced by Big Think. “To me it is clear that we exist in a plan which is governed by rules that were created, shaped by a universal intelligence and not by chance” . . .

You can watch the video below and see for yourself why Kaku believes science points to an intelligent creator who formed the universe. (I’m certainly not going to try to explain it.)

(Read more from “World Famous Scientist: God Created the Universe” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.


Amazon Secretly Removes “1984” From the Kindle

Thousands of people last week discovered that Amazon had quietly removed electronic copies of George Orwell’s 1984 from their Kindle e-book readers. In the process, Amazon revealed how easy censorship will be in the Kindle age.

In this case, the mass e-book removals were motivated by copyright . A company called MobileReference, who did not own the copyrights to the books 1984 and Animal Farm, uploaded both books to the Kindle store and started selling them. When the rights owner heard about this, they contacted Amazon and asked that the e-books be removed. And Amazon decided to erase them not just from the store, but from all the Kindles where they’d been downloaded. Amazon operators used the Kindle wireless network, called WhisperNet, to quietly delete the books from people’s devices and refund them the money they’d paid.

An uproar followed, with outraged customers pointing out the irony that Amazon was deleting copies of a novel about a fascist media state that constantly alters history by changing digital records of what has happened. Amazon’s action flies in the face of what people expect when they purchase a book. Under the “right of first sale” in the U.S., people can do whatever they like with a book after purchasing it, including giving it to a friend or reselling it. There is no option for a bookseller to take that book back once it’s sold. (Read more from “Amazon Secretly Removes “1984” From the Kindle” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

Peacekeeping - MINUSTAH

WHAT DO THEY KNOW THAT WE DON’T? Feds Preparing for Massive Natural Disaster in Pacific Northwest

Starting on June 7th, FEMA will be conducting a large scale drill that has been named “Cascadia Rising” that will simulate the effects of a magnitude 9.0 earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone and an accompanying west coast tsunami dozens of feet tall. According to the official flyer for the event, more than “50 counties, plus major cities, tribal nations, state and federal agencies, private sector businesses, and non-governmental organizations across three states – Washington, Oregon, and Idaho – will be participating”. In addition to “Cascadia Rising”, U.S. Northern Command will be holding five other exercises simultaneously. According to the final draft of the Cascadia Rising drill plan, those five exercises are entitled “Ardent Sentry 2016″, “Vigilant Guard”, “Special Focus Exercise”, “Turbo Challenge” and “Joint Logistics Over-The-Shore”. The primary scenario that of all of these participants will be focusing on will be one that involves a magnitude 9.0 earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone followed by a giant tsunami that could displace up to a million people from northern California to southern Canada.

We have never seen such a disaster before in all of U.S. history.

Do they know something that the rest of us do not?

It is funny that they are preparing to deal with the effects of a magnitude 9.0 earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone, because that is precisely the size of earthquake that I warned about in an article back in March.

The San Andreas Fault in southern California gets more headlines, but the Cascadia Subduction Zone is a much larger threat by far. This fault zone is where the Juan de Fuca plate meets the North American plate, and it stretches approximately 700 miles from northern Vancouver Island all the way down to northern California.

If a magnitude 9.0 earthquake were to strike, the immense shaking and subsequent tsunami would cause damage on a scale that is hard to even imagine right now. Perhaps this is why FEMA feels such a need to get prepared for this type of disaster, because the experts assure us that it is most definitely coming someday. The following comes from the official website of the “Cascadia Rising” exercise…

A 9.0 magnitude earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) and the resulting tsunami is the most complex disaster scenario that emergency management and public safety officials in the Pacific Northwest could face. Cascadia Rising is an exercise to address that disaster.

June 7-10, 2016 Emergency Operations and Coordination Centers (EOC/ECCs) at all levels of government and the private sector will activate to conduct a simulated field response operation within their jurisdictions and with neighboring communities, state EOCs, FEMA, and major military commands.

If you don’t think that the scenario that they are studying is realistic, perhaps you should consider the fact that the largest earthquake in the history of the continental United States stuck along the Cascadia Subduction Zone back in 1700. The following comes from CNN…

In fact, “the Cascadia” already has made history, causing the largest earthquake in the continental United States on January 26, 1700. That’s when the Cascadia unleashed one of the world’s biggest quakes, causing a tsunami so big that it rampaged across the Pacific and damaged coastal villages in Japan.

Yes, we all remember the big Hollywood blockbuster about the San Andreas fault. But if they wanted to be more realistic, they should have made the movie about the Cascadia Subduction Zone. According to a professor of geophysics at Oregon State University, the Cascadia Subduction Zone has the potential to create an earthquake “almost 30 times more energetic” than anything the San Andreas Fault can produce…

Everyone knows the Cascadia’s cousin in California: the San Andreas Fault. It gets all the scary glamor, with even a movie this year, “San Andreas,” dramatizing an apocalypse in the western U.S.

Truth is, the San Andreas is a lightweight compared with the Cascadia.

The Cascadia can deliver a quake that’s many times stronger — plus a tsunami.

“Cascadia can make an earthquake almost 30 times more energetic than the San Andreas to start with, and then it generates a tsunami at the same time, which the side-by-side motion of the San Andreas can’t do,” said Chris Goldfinger, a professor of geophysics at Oregon State University.

And the kind of tsunami that would be created by such a massive quake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone would absolutely dwarf the massive tsunami that struck Japan back in 2011. In fact, an article in the New Yorker quoted the head of the FEMA division that oversees Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska as saying that “everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast”…

If the entire zone gives way at once, an event that seismologists call a full-margin rupture, the magnitude will be somewhere between 8.7 and 9.2. That’s the very big one.

…By the time the shaking has ceased and the tsunami has receded, the region will be unrecognizable. Kenneth Murphy, who directs FEMA’s Region X, the division responsible for Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska, says, “Our operating assumption is that everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast.”

In the Pacific Northwest, everything west of Interstate 5 covers some hundred and forty thousand square miles, including Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, Eugene, Salem (the capital city of Oregon), Olympia (the capital of Washington), and some seven million people.

We live at a time when the crust of our planet is becoming increasingly unstable. Based on my research, I have come to the conclusion that we will soon see major earth changes on a scale that most of us would never even dare to imagine.

All over the world the Ring of Fire is roaring to life, and the Cascadia Subduction Zone lies directly along the Ring of Fire. Just last week, I wrote about the alarming earthquake swarms that we have seen directly under Mt. Rainier, Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens, and now we have learned that FEMA is about to hold a major drill that is going to simulate a magnitude 9.0 earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone and an accompanying west coast tsunami dozens of feet in height.

Of course most Americans aren’t concerned about this threat at all.

Most Americans just assume that life will continue to go on normally just as it always has.

But I happen to agree with the experts that are promising us that an absolutely massive earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone will strike someday, and when that happens life in America will be permanently altered. (For more from the author of “WHAT DO THEY KNOW THAT WE DON’T? Feds Preparing for Massive Natural Disaster in Pacific Northwest” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.


Evidence of Global Warming Found on a Planet With No Humans

New evidence, as reported by the Washington Times, suggests that global warming is happening on a planet not inhabited by a single human… Mars.

The red planet, which moved closer to the Earth on Monday than at any other time since 2005, has retreated from a glacial period that would have covered large areas in white before the thaw about 370,000 years ago, according to a study published Friday in the journal Science.

The research was conducted using an instrument on board the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that allowed an unprecedented examination of “the most recent Martian ice age recorded in the planet’s north polar ice cap,” according to a NASA press release.

Scientists attribute the shift in Mars’ climate to natural variations that occur over “thousands of years.” Changes in the planet’s orbit and tilt of the planet’s axis move Mars in and out of ice ages over time.

“As the warm polar period ends, polar ice begins accumulating again, while ice is lost from mid-latitudes. This retreat and regrowth of polar ice is exactly what Smith and colleagues see in the record revealed by the [Shallow Subsurface Radar] images,” said NASA.

One wonders if Earth’s climate is undergoing a similar natural shift. (For more from the author of “Evidence of Global Warming Found on a Planet With No Humans” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.


Doctors Fear Scarring Bug Disease Brought to Europe by Migrants

Cutaneous leishmaniasis, a disease caused by bites from sandflies, has spread from thousands infected in Syria to neighboring countries.

Experts warn it has made its way to Europe with the millions of Syrians that have migrated over the last year. Cutaneous leishmaniasis often leads to severe scarring on the face if it goes undiagnosed and untreated.

The disease has been contained to Islamic State-controlled regions in Syria, particularly Raqqa, Deir al-Zour and Hasakah. As the civil war destroyed much of Syria’s medical facilities, it often goes untreated and spreads rapidly.

The estimated number of patients rose from six in 2012, to several thousand a year later, according to World Health Organization statistics.

Cases have already been detected in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.

Waleed Al-Salem, a doctor at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, calls the current situation “very bad.”

“It’s a very bad situation. The disease has spread dramatically in Syria, but also into countries like Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey and even into southern Europe with refugees coming in,” Al-Salem told The MailOnline Saturday. ‘There are thousands of cases in the region but it is still underestimated because no one can count the exact number of people affected.” (For more from the author of “Doctors Fear Scarring Bug Disease Brought to Europe by Migrants” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.


The Very Best Gun for the Beginning Prepper

So here’s the deal. The first gun that a new prepper ought to get should be one that makes practice as easy as possible. Shooting is fun! But you won’t realize that until you do some. That first firearm should be inexpensive, both in initial acquisition and in the cost of ammunition. It should be something that you – and your other family members – can shoot with minimal training.

It should be a handgun.

Now a lot of the gun aficionados thought I was leading up to a .22 caliber rifle. And yes, every prepper should have one of those, if for no other reason than to have a rifle available to loan to a friend during a zombie attack, thereby allowing you to keep the much better defensive weapons for yourself.

There are a lot of sound reasons for a “handgun first” policy. Here are a few:

Dimensions. Try carrying a long gun concealed. You’ll walk like Frankenstein. Handguns allow you to carry concealed practically anywhere on your body, and concealed or not, when holstered they keep your hands free and allow your body to move naturally. If you are working around the compound and not in a elevated DEFCON, that means that you won’t be having your long gun, the one you so carefully leaned against a barn wall while you fixing a fence, fall over into a pile of bovine end product (as mine almost always seem to do). If something is easy to carry, you’re more likely to carry it. Simple.

(Read more from “The Very Best Gun for the Beginning Prepper” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.