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Old 10-27-2008, 08:38 AM   #701
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http://www.tricycle.com/interview/in...-buddhas-world

http://hokai.info/2008/09/no-self-fallacy.html

Interview: Investigating the Buddha’s World
October 26th, 2008 by TiamatsVision

“The teachings of the Buddha have been variously understood by scholars, monks, and laypeople over the centuries. But what was it that the Buddha actually taught? While this remains an open and oft-debated question, scholar John Peacocke—in his work as both an academic and a dharma teacher—asserts that by looking to the history, language, and rich philosophical environment of the Buddha’s day we can uncover what is most distinctive and revolutionary about his teachings. Peacocke, who does not shy away from controversy, argues that in some very important ways, later Buddhist schools depart from early core teachings.

Peacocke has been practicing Buddhism since 1970. He was first exposed to Buddhism at monasteries in South India, where he ordained as a monk in the Tibetan tradition. He later studied in Sri Lanka, where Theravada Buddhism has flourished for centuries. Returning to lay life and his native England, Peacocke went on to receive his Ph.D. in Buddhist studies at the University of Warwick. He currently lectures on Buddhist and Hindu thought at the University of Bristol and next year will begin teaching at the Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy Master of Studies program at Oxford University. A former director of the Sharpham Centre for Buddhist Studies in Devon, England, Peacocke also serves on the teaching council at nearby Gaia House, a retreat center offering instruction in a variety of Buddhist traditions. He now teaches and practices in the Vipassana tradition. Tricycle editor James Shaheen visited with Peacocke near Bristol University in April to discuss what the language of the early Pali and Sanskrit texts tells us about Buddhism today.”
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:39 AM   #702
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http://www.technoccult.com/archives/...e-on-the-mesa/

The current economic crisis has some people showing an an interest in survivalism, frugal lifestyles, etc. This fascinating documentary focuses on one particular group of people who live according to their own rules.

“Twenty-Five miles from town, a million miles from mainstream society, a loose-knit community of eco-pioneers, teenage runaways, war veterans and drop-outs, live on the fringe and off the grid, struggling to survive with little food, less water and no electricity, as they cling to their unique vision of the American dream…”
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:44 AM   #703
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http://www.noonehastodietomorrow.com.../351?task=view

British NGO Forecasts Five Brave New World Scenarios Set In 2030
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:47 AM   #704
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http://www.deccanherald.com/Content/...8092291448.asp

Mystery of the Mind
From rose-tinted views of childhood to clear recollections of events that never happened, research shows that memories are both suggestible and inherently idealised. Kate Hilpern finds out just how unreliable our powers of recall are.
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Old 10-27-2008, 11:37 AM   #705
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amesj523 View Post
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7...611112,00.html

ran exposes pigeon-brained espionage plot, literally

Security forces arrest suspected 'spy pigeons,' near Natanz reactor. Last year 14 squirrels were seized on espionage claims. Fate of captive birds unknown
http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/1...hat-spy-p.html

This week's report that Iran had found "spy pigeons" near one of its nuclear faculties looked ridiculous. The very idea of using pigeons for intelligence gathering is obviously crazy. But is it crazy enough to be true?

Attaching instrumentation to pigeons easier than you might think. Beatriz de Costa attracted attention in 2006 when she started using instrumented pigeons for air quality monitoring in California. The birds are equipped with GPS and a stripped-down mobile phone and camera as well as a device to measure air pollution, and send back data via SMS texting – they have their own blog. (Da Costa is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Irvine "Departments of Studio Art, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science" and described as an "interdisciplinary researcher and artist.")

De Costa is using commercially available hardware; intelligence agencies can probably get the same capability in a much smaller package. Pigeons have long been used by intelligence agencies because they can get a message through when no other means will work. The Iraqis reportedly used pigeons in the 1991 Gulf War as a means of circumventing radio jamming ; the Swiss Army did not terminate their carrier pigeon program until 1994.

Da Costa was actually inspired by German engineer Julius Neubronner who experimented with camera carrying pigeons in 1903 -- an idea apparently later taken up by German Military Intelligence.

(The U.S. military used pigeons until 1957, long enough for pigeon-based equipment to be given its own communications system designation, such as AN/CBQ-1 for the "Air-transportable Pigeon Loft & Message Center." Some pigeons won medals for their services; the bird Cher Ami earned the Croix de Guerre for saving the lives of many U.S. soldiers during World War I. Britain's PDSA animal welfare organization awarded the Dickin medal "for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty" to 32 pigeons over the years.)

Pigeons are still useful in the modern age. Earlier this year, criminals were found to be using carrier pigeons to smuggle drugs and mobile phones into a prison in Marilia in Brazil. Kidnap gangs in Iraq reportedly used pigeons to collect ransom.

What about intelligence agencies? Back in the 1960's, the CIA experimented with "Acoustic Kitty," a cat wired up to record conversations. And just last year, Chinese scientists reported having implanted electrodes in a pigeon's brain "so they can command it to fly right or left or up or down." Darpa has performed similar experiments with sharks. So perhaps a GPS-enabled pigeon might be guided to a specific location.

Though bizarre, expensive and not very practical, pigeon spies may well be possible. But you have to look at more prosaic explanations, too.

Racing pigeons are popular in Iran. There are several native breeds, collectively known as Iranian Highflying Tumblers, that are bred for endurance and aerobatic somersaulting. So a pigeon with a metal ring on its leg -- like this week's alleged spy bird -- should not just be such an extraordinary sight.

Perhaps the Iranians will copy the approach used by British counterintelligence during WWII. The Army Pigeon Service Special Section employed two peregrine falcons to intercept pigeons released by German spies with some success.

And you thought the spy pigeons were fiction…

[Photo: NASM]
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Old 10-27-2008, 11:49 AM   #706
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http://www.ajc.com/services/content/...id=inform_artr

Lonnie Johnson has some impressive hard science credentials.

He’s worked for the Strategic Air Command and for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, outfitting missions to Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. He holds about 100 patents, many of them in that arcane spot where chemistry, electricity and physics cross into the marketplace. And his latest invention appears to do the impossible: generating electricity with no fuel and no moving parts.

But he’s still known as Mr. Squirt Gun.

Even among the geniuses who gathered to honor him and his new thermo-electrochemical converter at a “Breakthrough Awards” banquet in Manhattan this month, the Atlanta scientist’s new invention was ignored when his most famous device was revealed.

“What?” they cried. “You invented the Super Soaker?”

Johnson, 59, doesn’t mind if he’s better known for watery mayhem than rocket science. Perhaps that’s because $1 billion worth of Super Soakers have sold since 1990. A billion dollars could buy most of a Galileo mission.

Johnson’s share (he licensed the Soaker’s design to Larami, later bought by Hasbro) won him the financial independence to pursue his own ideas, which is how the Johnson Thermo-electrochemical Converter system —- JTEC for short —- was born.

Using heat to force ions out of a hydrogen cell, the JTEC “is just a stunning insight,” said Jerry Beilinson, deputy editor of Popular Mechanics magazine, which honors innovators in its current issue and sponsors the Breakthrough Awards. “I kind of thought we were finished; I didn’t think there was a new way.”
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Old 10-27-2008, 11:50 AM   #707
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http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2008/10/so...r_minds-2.html

Solar Furnace Melts Steel, Our Minds

the best way to feed the world's hunger for energy, James May visited a solar furnace to see how powerful they really are. Usually, solar furnaces are used to boil water into steam to generate electricity or make hydrogen fuel. But May thought that the best way to make people understand their insane power is to do something equally as insane: Melt steel almost instantly.




A solar furnace is a mirror structure used to concentrate sun rays into a small area called the focal point. As you can expect, the concentrated rays produce extremely high temperatures: At the focal point, solar furnaces can achieve temperatures of 5,430 ºF (3,000 ºC). The idea is not new--coming from ancient Greece--but their potential is starting to become more relevant now as we try to cut dependency on fossil fuels.

While this furnace is not as big as the largest solar furnace in the world at Odeillo, in the French Pyrenees, it's capable of achieving 4,352 ºF (2,400 ºC)--which, as you can see, it's enough to melt steel in a few seconds and almost disintegrate hot dogs. [Dark Roasted Blend]
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Old 10-27-2008, 11:51 AM   #708
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/mai..._deankamen.xml

Dean Kamen: part man, part machine

Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 27/10/2008
Page 1 of 3

Some see Dean Kamen as a Willy Wonka character whose most famous invention - the Segway personal transporter - is still the butt of jokes. Others compare him to Henry Ford. His next project, after perfecting an electric car, is to 'to fix the world' - using a 200-year-old engine nobody else thinks can work.
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Old 10-27-2008, 11:52 AM   #709
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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/26/bu...in&oref=slogin

If No One Sees It, Is It an Invention?

To share his innovation, Johnny Chung Lee posted a video on YouTube. In it, he uses a Wii remote controller and “head tracking” glasses to make a screen image come alive.
Johnny Lee

Mr. Lee's “Poor Man’s Steadycam.”

The video showed how, in a few easy steps, the Nintendo Wii remote controller — or “Wiimote” — could transform a normal video screen into a virtual reality display, with graphics that seemed to pop through the screen and into the living room. So far, the video has been seen more than six million times.

That video, together with others that Mr. Lee, now 28, posted on YouTube, have drawn people to the innovator as well as his innovations. Video game companies have contacted him and, in September, M.I.T.’s Technology Review named him as one of its top innovators under 35.

When he completed his degree this year at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute of Carnegie Mellon, he received “lots of offers from all the big places,” according to Paul Dietz, who convinced Mr. Lee to join him in the applied sciences group of Microsoft’s entertainment and devices division. “When we told Bill Gates we were trying to recruit Johnny, he already knew about his work and was anxious to bring him to Microsoft,” adds Mr. Dietz, a research and development program manager.

Contrast this with what might have followed from other options Mr. Lee considered for communicating his ideas. He might have published a paper that only a few dozen specialists would have read. A talk at a conference would have brought a slightly larger audience. In either case, it would have taken months for his ideas to reach others.

Small wonder, then, that he maintains that posting to YouTube has been an essential part of his success as an inventor. “Sharing an idea the right way is just as important as doing the work itself,” he says. “If you create something but nobody knows, it’s as if it never happened.”

Before posting his own ideas, Mr. Lee watched other people’s videos about the Wiimote. An online community of electronics hobbyists share ideas in video form not only on YouTube, but also at sites like instructables.com and makezine.com.

Thirty years ago, pioneers of the personal computer industry swapped ideas and tried to outdo one another at meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club in an auditorium at Stanford. Today, these “meetings” happen virtually and globally, with people modifying, improving and otherwise riffing on one another’s ideas — then posting the results in video form. This wide-scale collaboration, Mr. Lee says, lets the hobbyists “take advantage of economies of scale of innovation.”

In late 2002, Mr. Lee started a small company to build and sell an invention that helps filmmakers minimize camera-shaking. He sells this “Poor Man’s Steadycam” for $39.95 online — commercial versions start at five times that price — though he encourages people to download free instructions from his Web site and to build the device themselves for $14 in parts.

Mr. Lee says that the company is profitable, with revenue of about $250,000 in its first five years, but he adds that he is not much of a businessman. He has been out of inventory for over a year.

The steadycam company is his only foray into business. His decision to share, rather than sell, most of his ideas is linked to his definition of success, which he measures in terms of impact, not dollars. This, he says, is a reason he chose to join Microsoft: the company’s enormous customer base represents “real potential to help other people.”

He chooses his personal projects based on what he calls their “work-to-wow” ratio. “I want to get the biggest wow for the smallest amount of work,” he explains, adding that for him, wow is synonymous with impact.

The ratio of the Wiimote projects was fantastic: each idea that has reached millions of people took only three to four days to conceive, build, film and post.

Mr. Lee encourages innovators to ask themselves, “Would providing 80 percent of the capability at 1 percent of the cost be valuable to someone?” If the answer is yes, he says, pay attention. Trading relatively little performance for substantial cost savings can generate what Mr. Lee calls “surprising and often powerful results both scientifically and socially.”

As evidence, he might point to a do-it-yourself interactive whiteboard, another of his Wiimote innovations. Interactive whiteboards, which in commercial form generally sell for more than $1,000, make it possible to control a computer by tapping, writing or drawing on an image of the desktop that has been projected onto a screen. Mr. Lee’s version can be built with roughly $60 in parts and free open-source software downloadable from his Web site.

Some 700,000 people, many of them teachers, have downloaded the software, Mr. Lee says. Much more expensive whiteboards may offer more features and better image resolution, but Mr. Lee’s version is adequate for most classroom applications.

It is also easy to build. An after-school Lego robotics club for fifth graders at Clara Byrd Baker Elementary School in Williamsburg, Va., built a Wiimote whiteboard in four one-hour sessions. “Once it was done, the kids were so excited,” recalls Kofi Merritt, then the school’s computer resource specialist, who suggested and advised the project. “They recognized themselves as innovators and demonstrated the whiteboard in classroom after classroom.”

MR. LEE’S ideas have acquired a momentum independent of Mr. Lee himself. At educational conferences, teachers have presented how-to tutorials for their colleagues. And at Microsoft, his appreciation for online video has rubbed off on others. The company recently gave Mr. Dietz permission to go public with a new invention of his own: a drinking glass that, when placed on the Microsoft Surface table — a table with an interactive, multitouch display built into the top — alerts a waiter to offer a refill.

After writing a paper on his invention, Mr. Dietz wanted to test the concept in the market. His first step? He posted a video on YouTube.

Leslie Berlin is project historian for the Silicon Valley Archives at Stanford. E-mail: prototype@nytimes.com.
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Old 10-27-2008, 11:53 AM   #710
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http://www.newsweek.com/id/165678

Why We Believe

Belief in the paranormal reflects normal brain activity carried to an extreme.
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Old 10-27-2008, 11:53 AM   #711
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http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2...is-lets-r.html

Hypnosis Lets Regular People See Numbers as Colors
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Old 10-27-2008, 11:56 AM   #712
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http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/s...9-3102,00.html

DESPITE posessing a tiny brain the size of a sesame seed, honey bees can be trained to count up to four, according to Queensland researchers.
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Old 10-27-2008, 12:01 PM   #713
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Old 10-27-2008, 12:03 PM   #714
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/2664373.stm

Edible bananas may disappear within a decade if urgent action is not taken to develop new varieties resistant to blight.

A Belgian scientist leading research into the fruit loved by millions, and a staple for much of the world's poor, has warned that diseases and pests are steadily encroaching upon crops.
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:12 PM   #715
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Technoccult interviews Alex CF, cryptozoological pseudoscientific artist

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Old 10-28-2008, 12:15 PM   #716
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:29 PM   #717
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http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archiv...nce_of_a_g.php

Evidence of a Global SuperOrganism

I am not the first, nor the only one, to believe a superorganism is emerging from the cloak of wires, radio waves, and electronic nodes wrapping the surface of our planet. No one can dispute the scale or reality of this vast connectivity. What's uncertain is, what is it? Is this global web of computers, servers and trunk lines a mere mechanical circuit, a very large tool, or does it reach a threshold where something, well, different happens?

So far the proposition that a global superorganism is forming along the internet power lines has been treated as a lyrical metaphor at best, and as a mystical illusion at worst. I've decided to treat the idea of a global superorganism seriously, and to see if I could muster a falsifiable claim and evidence for its emergence.

My hypothesis is this: The rapidly increasing sum of all computational devices in the world connected online, including wirelessly, forms a superorganism of computation with its own emergent behaviors.

Superorganisms are a different type of organism. Large things are made from smaller things. Big machines are made from small parts, and visible living organisms from invisible cells. But these parts don't usually stand on their own. In a slightly fractal recursion, the parts of a superorganism lead fairly autonomous existences on their own. A superorganism such as an insect or mole rat colony contains many sub-individuals. These individual organisms eat, move about, get things done on their own. From most perspectives they appear complete. But in the case of the social insects and the naked mole rat these autonomous sub individuals need the super colony to reproduce themselves. In this way reproduction is a phenomenon that occurs at the level of the superorganism.

I define the One Machine as the emerging superorganism of computers. It is a megasupercomputer composed of billions of sub computers. The sub computers can compute individually on their own, and from most perspectives these units are distinct complete pieces of gear. But there is an emerging smartness in their collective that is smarter than any individual computer. We could say learning (or smartness) occurs at the level of the superorganism.
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:30 PM   #718
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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ed-London.html



While a pink sky at night might be a shepherd's delight, London residents were left scratching their heads last night as a mysterious pink cloud drifted over the city.

Bemused bystanders in Mayfair craned their necks to witness the strange alien-like cloud that appeared for just under an hour at around 8:30pm.

It hovered over buildings before breaking up and slowly disappearing
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:32 PM   #719
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http://www.philipcoppens.com/ripper.html



Ripper magic

Long before Hannibal Lecter, Jack the Ripper was the first serial killer that attained worldwide notoriety. But could he have been a murderer that was performing a magical ritual?
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:35 PM   #720
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7687346.stm

A former British Army interpreter who is accused of spying for Iran was a Cuban black magic priest, he has told the Old Bailey.
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:42 PM   #721
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http://www.nextnature.net/?p=2760

More realistic airplane safety instructions
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:46 PM   #722
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Solar Material Absorbs Entire Spectrum


Solar Material Absorbs Entire Spectrum
October 28th, 2008

Via: EETimes:

Current solar materials must be chosen to match a specific wavelength of sunlight, but a new hybrid inorganic/organic material could usher in solar cells that absorb all solar wavelengths.

The new polymer could also enable much more efficient charge separation since electrons dislodged by light in the material remain free much longer than in conventional solar cells.

The inorganic/organic hybrid polymer material can be made into polymer blends that can “absorb essentially across the entire solar spectrum–they go from about 300 nanometers down to about 10,000 nanometers,” said professor Malcolm Chisholm of Ohio State University.

Solar materials work by using incident light to boost the energy of electrons, thereby separating then from the hull of atoms in the material. They can then be harvested to generate electricity.

However, separated electrons fall back into their host atoms if not collected quickly. Usually, solar materials either fluoresce (called singlet emisson) or phosphoresce (triplet emission). The new hybrid material does both, further increasing potential efficiency.

“The materials we have made show both singlet and triplet emissions,” said Chisholm. “The singlet state lasts a relatively long time, in the region of about 10 pico seconds; the triplet lasts a lot longer–up to a 100 or so microseconds, which should be good for separating the electrons and the hull.”

The new material was designed at the Ohio Supercomputer Center and synthesized at the National Taiwan University. Funding was provided by the National Science Foundation and Ohio State’s Institute for Materials Research.

A detailed description of the new material was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

More: OSU Research News
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:47 PM   #723
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http://cryptogon.com/?p=4705

‘Constitution-Free’ Zones Extend 100 Miles from the Border


I didn't know that....
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:48 PM   #724
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Toy Car Company Worth More Than GM
October 28th, 2008

Via: Newsweek:

In the fad-driven fantasyland of toys, Hot Wheels has had an incredible ride. Those pocket rockets have been racing down their familiar orange tracks for four decades now and, unlike the real car market, show no signs of slowing down. Last year Hot Wheels set a record, as sales surged by 16 percent, and they continue to accelerate in 2008 even as the economy tanks. In fact, as Motown melts down, Hot Wheels is heating up. The tiny toy cars’ parent company, Mattel, now has a market capitalization that surpasses General Motors. That’s right—Wall Street thinks the maker of toy cars is worth more than the largest real carmaker in America.
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:49 PM   #725
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http://cryptogon.com/?p=4694

Fluoride Added to Children’s Milk in Schools Throughout UK City
October 28th, 2008

Via: PrisonPlanet:

Fluoride is being added to children’s milk in 42 schools throughout the city of Sheffield in the UK, despite the chemical’s proven link to liver and kidney damage, cancer and the lowering of IQ.

“A new strategy with the focus of preventing dental problems among children is be introduced in Sheffield,” reports the Yorkshire Post.

The move comes in response to figures showing that the state of children’s teeth in the city is slightly higher than the national average.

“At present, fluoride is added to children’s milk in 42 primary schools in the city. This will continue, and the local NHS is also planning to begin talks on the possibility of adding fluoride to water.” the report continues.

While Fluoride has been proven to have a minimal effect in the prevention of tooth decay, the negative effects of the chemical are legion according to several medical studies, far outweighing any positive aspects.

A recent Scientific American study “Concluded that fluoride can subtly alter endocrine function, especially in the thyroid — the gland that produces hormones regulating growth and metabolism.”

The report also notes that “a series of epidemiological studies in China have associated high fluoride exposures with lower IQ.”

50 per cent of the fluoride taken in on a daily basis remains in the body for life, accumulating in the skeleton. This can cause, skeletal fluorosis, a crippling and painful condition.

“Epidemiological studies and tests on lab animals suggest that high fluoride exposure increases the risk of bone fracture, especially in vulnerable populations such as the elderly and diabetics,” writes Dan Fagin.

Fagin interviewed Steven Levy, director of the Iowa Fluoride Study which tracked about 700 Iowa children for sixteen years. Nine-year-old “Iowa children who lived in communities where the water was fluoridated were 50 percent more likely to have mild fluorosis… than [nine-year-old] children living in nonfluoridated areas of the state,” writes Fagin.

The study adds to a growing literature of shocking scientific studies proving fluoride’s link with all manner of health defects, even as governments in the west, including recently the UK, make plans to mass medicate the population against their will with this deadly toxin.
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