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Category: Environment

Caterpillar found to eat shopping bags, suggesting biodegradable solution to plastic pollution

https://phys.org/news/2017-04-caterpillar-bags-biodegradable-solution-plastic.html

Caterpillar found to eat shopping bags, suggesting biodegradable solution to plastic pollution

April 24, 2017

Caterpillar found to eat shopping bags, suggesting biodegradable solution to plastic pollution

Scientists have found that a caterpillar commercially bred for fishing bait has the ability to biodegrade polyethylene: one of the toughest and most used plastics, frequently found clogging up landfill sites in the form of plastic shopping bags.

The wax worm, the larvae of the common insect Galleria mellonella, or greater wax moth, is a scourge of beehives across Europe. In the wild, the worms live as parasites in bee colonies. Wax moths lay their eggs inside hives where the worms hatch and grow on beeswax – hence the name.

A chance discovery occurred when one of the scientific team, Federica Bertocchini, an amateur beekeeper, was removing the parasitic pests from the honeycombs in her hives. The worms were temporarily kept in a typical plastic shopping bag that became riddled with holes.

Bertocchini, from the Institute of Biomedicine and Biotechnology of Cantabria (CSIC), Spain, collaborated with colleagues Paolo Bombelli and Christopher Howe at the University of Cambridge’s Department of Biochemistry to conduct a timed experiment.

Around a hundred wax worms were exposed to a plastic bag from a UK supermarket. Holes started to appear after just 40 minutes, and after 12 hours there was a reduction in plastic mass of 92mg from the bag.

Scientists say that the degradation rate is extremely fast compared to other recent discoveries, such as bacteria reported last year to biodegrade some plastics at a rate of just 0.13mg a day.

Caterpillar found to eat shopping bags, suggesting biodegradable solution to plastic pollution
Plastic biodegraded by 10 worms in 30 minutes. Credit: César Hernández/CSIC

“If a single enzyme is responsible for this chemical process, its reproduction on a large scale using biotechnological methods should be achievable,” said Cambridge’s Paolo Bombelli, first author of the study published today in the journal Current Biology.

“This discovery could be an important tool for helping to get rid of the plastic waste accumulated in and oceans.”

Polyethylene is largely used in packaging, and accounts for 40% of total demand for plastic products across Europe – where up to 38% of plastic is discarded in landfills. People around the world use around a trillion plastic bags every single year.

Generally speaking, plastic is highly resistant to breaking down, and even when it does the smaller pieces choke up ecosystems without degrading. The environmental toll is a heavy one.

Yet nature may provide an answer. The beeswax on which wax worms grow is composed of a highly diverse mixture of lipid compounds: building block molecules of living cells, including fats, oils and some hormones.

While the molecular detail of wax biodegradation requires further investigation, the researchers say it is likely that digesting beeswax and polyethylene involves breaking similar types of chemical bonds.

Caterpillar found to eat shopping bags, suggesting biodegradable solution to plastic pollution
A close-up of wax worm next to biodegraded holes in a polyethylene plastic shopping bag from a UK supermarket as used in the experiment. Credit: Paolo Bombelli

“Wax is a polymer, a sort of ‘natural plastic,’ and has a chemical structure not dissimilar to polyethylene,” said CSIC’s Bertocchini, the study’s lead author.

The researchers conducted spectroscopic analysis to show the in the plastic were breaking. The analysis showed the worms transformed the polyethylene into ethylene glycol, representing un-bonded ‘monomer’ molecules.

To confirm it wasn’t just the chewing mechanism of the caterpillars degrading the plastic, the team mashed up some of the worms and smeared them on polyethylene bags, with similar results.

“The caterpillars are not just eating the plastic without modifying its chemical make-up. We showed that the polymer chains in polyethylene plastic are actually broken by the wax ,” said Bombelli.

“The caterpillar produces something that breaks the chemical bond, perhaps in its salivary glands or a symbiotic bacteria in its gut. The next steps for us will be to try and identify the molecular processes in this reaction and see if we can isolate the enzyme responsible.”

As the molecular details of the process become known, the researchers say it could be used to devise a biotechnological solution on an industrial scale for managing polyethylene waste.

Added Bertocchini: “We are planning to implement this finding into a viable way to get rid of plastic waste, working towards a solution to save our oceans, rivers, and all the environment from the unavoidable consequences of accumulation.”

Explore further: Gut bacteria from a worm can degrade plastic

More information: Current Biology (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.02.060

 

Archaeology shocker: Study claims humans reached the Americas 130,000 years ago

Archaeology shocker: Study claims humans reached the Americas 130,000 years ago

 

Sarah Kaplan

Some 130,000 years ago, scientists say, a mysterious group of ancient people visited the coastline of what is now Southern California.

More than 100,000 years before they were supposed to have arrived in the Americas, these unknown people used five heavy stones to break the bones of a mastodon. They cracked open femurs to suck out the marrow and, using the rocks as hammers, scored deep notches in the bone. When finished, they abandoned the materials in the soft, fine soil; one tusk planted upright in the ground like a single flag in the archaeological record. Then the people vanished.

This is the bold claim put forward by paleontologist Thomas Deméré and his colleagues in a paper published Wednesday in the journal Nature. The researchers say that the scratched-up mastodon fossils and large, chipped stones uncovered during excavation for a San Diego highway more than 20 years ago are evidence of an unknown hominin species, perhaps Homo erectus, Neanderthals, maybe even Homo sapiens.

If Deméré’s analysis is accurate, it would set back the arrival date for hominins in the Americas and suggest that modern humans might not have been the first species to arrive. But the paper has raised skepticism among many researchers who study American prehistory. Several said this is a classic case of an extraordinary claim requiring extraordinary evidence — which they argue the Nature paper doesn’t provide.

“You can’t push human activity in the New World back 100,000 years based on evidence as inherently ambiguous as broken bones and nondescript stones,” said David Meltzer, an archaeologist at Southern Methodist University. “They need to do a better job showing nature could not be responsible for those bones and stones.”

For decades, discussion of early settlement of the Americas has focused on the tail end of the Ice Age. Most archaeologists agree that humans crossed a land bridge from Asia into Alaska sometime after 25,000 years ago, then either walked between ice sheets or took boats down the Pacific coastline to reach the wide open plains of Pleistocene America roughly 15,000 years before present. Though scientists debated the exact timing of this journey, their estimates differed by hundreds or a few thousand years, not tens of thousands.

“It is a bold claim,” Deméré acknowledged, “an order of magnitude older age than has been suggested.” But he asked his colleagues not to dismiss the research out of hand based only on a number.

“This evidence begs for some explanation,” he said, “and this is the explanation we’ve come up with.”

The rocks and mastodon remains were identified in 1992 by paleontologist Richard Cerutti, a colleague of Deméré’s at the San Diego Museum of Natural History. Cerutti was asked to monitor work on a new freeway south of San Diego in case any important fossils were uncovered.

When Cerutti spotted a broken tusk stuck in the soil overturned by an excavator, he called for a halt in activity and summoned Deméré to the site.

“You’ll want to see this,” Deméré recalled Cerutti saying.

The scientists set up a geographic grid system and began carefully excavating several more stones and bones, plotting each new object on their grid to preserve its location. It took several months to uncover every artifact.

“As the site unfolded over that five month period it became more and more exciting and more puzzling at the same time,” Deméré recalled.

San Diego Natural History Museum Paleontologist Don Swanson pointing at rock fragment near a large horizontal mastodon tusk fragment.© San Diego Natural History Museum San Diego Natural History Museum Paleontologist Don Swanson pointing at rock fragment near a large horizontal mastodon tusk fragment.

The biggest find was a partial skeleton from a single American mastodon. Peculiarly, the largest bones were scarred and broken, but more fragile ribs and vertebrae were still intact. Some of the bones seemed to have been arranged deliberately alongside one another. Many bore the spiral fractures that are a signature of ancient people hammering on fresh bone — either to extract marrow for food or break the bone into tools.

The bones were clustered in groups around a few large, heavy stones known as “cobbles.” The size and makeup of these rocks didn’t match the fine-grained surrounding soil. They bore marks you’d expect to see on a hammer and anvil. Scattered around the site were flakes that seem to have been chipped off the cobbles, as though someone had struck the rocks against another solid object. When held up to their source stones, the flakes fit back into them like pieces of a puzzle.

“It was unusual to say the least … and suggested this was a not a typical paleontological site and we should consider the possibility that we had association of extinct megafauna with humans, or at least early human activity,” Deméré said of the findings.

But it was difficult to figure out how old the site was. Any soft tissue in the fossilized bones had long decayed, so scientists couldn’t use radiocarbon dating to determine their age. They attempted to date fossils using the uranium-thorium method, which measures radioactive decay of uranium. But the technique was not very reliable at the time, so the Cerutti mastodon remained an enigma.

More than a decade later, a mutual friend put Deméré in touch with archaeologist Steve Holen. Holen believes that human history in the Americas dates back much farther than the end of the Ice Age, something he acknowledges is a “minority position” in his field. For several years, he has been examining museum collections and new fossil sites in search of ancient bones that look like they were touched by people.

The breaks on the mastodon fossils looked as though they were human-caused, he said. But to make sure, Holen tried to recreate them using a stone hammer the same size as the one found at the Cerutti site and the skeleton of an elephant that had been recently buried.

“The bone was extremely fresh and smelled very bad,” Holen said of that experiment. “I almost wished I wasn’t doing this.” It took all of Holen’s effort — and the help of a younger, stronger colleague — to break the bones. When they succeeded, they recognized the same breakage patterns as the ones found on the fossils. There’s no evidence that anyone hunted or butchered the mastodon for meat, but it definitely seemed to him like some human or human cousin had cracked the bones.

“Once you do the experiment then you really can understand this much better,” Holen said.

The surface of mastodon bone showing half impact notch on a segment of femur.© Tom Deméré, San Diego Natural History Museum The surface of mastodon bone showing half impact notch on a segment of femur.

Next the team reached out to geochronologist James Paces, who retried the now much-improved uranium-thorium dating technique on the bones. He concluded that they are 130,000 years old, give or take 9,400. This date corresponds with the accepted age of the layer of rock in which the bones and cobbles were found.

But it far exceeds any established date for settlement of the Americas. The oldest biological remains from any humans on the continent is a coprolite (fossilized poop) from 14,300 years ago. Studies based on genetic analysis of modern Native Americans suggest that humans didn’t make it over the land bridge that once linked northeast Asia to Alaska until 25,000 years ago.

If the stones and bones really are evidence of people, then who were they? How did they get to this part of the world so long ago? And why haven’t we found other evidence of their presence? Did they die out not long after they arrived?

A boulder discovered at the Cerutti Mastodon site thought to have been used by early humans as a hammerstone.© Tom Deméré, San Diego Natural History Museum A boulder discovered at the Cerutti Mastodon site thought to have been used by early humans as a hammerstone.

Because there are no hominin remains at the site, and rock hammer technology was used by many hominin species, the scientists caution that discussion of the identity of these people is purely speculative. In a supplement to their Nature paper, they say the Cerutti people may have been Neanderthals, Denisovans (a species known only from a few fragments found in a cave in northern Siberia), or members of the species Homo erectus. It seems unlikely that they were Homo sapiens — anatomically modern humans didn’t migrate out of Africa until after 100,000 years ago, according to most estimates.

As for how they got here, Deméré said they may have been able to cross the land bridge before the last ice age, when the planet warmed and sea levels rose. Other species migrated to the Americas in this period, Deméré said, and the hominins may have followed them over.

Otherwise, the first Americans could have used boats to cross the Bering Strait, and then scoot down the Pacific coast — archaeological finds on the Mediterranean island of Crete suggest that hominins were able to cross the sea via boat more than 100,000 years ago.

To some who study American prehistory, this interpretation of the Cerutti site beggars belief. Meltzer called the claim “grandiose.” Donald Grayson, a paleoanthropologist at the University of Washington, noted that history is rife with examples of scientists misinterpreting strange markings on stone as evidence of human activity. He pointed to the Calico Hills site in the Mojave Desert, which the archaeologist Louis Leakey believed contained 200,000-year-old stone tools. Subsequent studies have largely discredited Leakey’s claim — the apparent tools were most likely “geofacts,” natural stone formations that only look like they were crafted by humans.

Some of the fossil bones and rocks found at the Cerutti mastodon site.© San Diego Natural History Museum Some of the fossil bones and rocks found at the Cerutti mastodon site.

“It is one thing to show that broken bones and modified rocks could have been produced by people, which Holen and his colleagues have done,” Grayson said. “It is quite another to show that people, and people alone, could have produced those modifications. This, Holen [has] most certainly not done, making this a very easy claim to dismiss.”

Mike Waters, the director of the Center for the Study of the First Americans at Texas A&M, also criticized the claim. To convince him that people were in the Americas so much earlier before the first physical evidence of their remains, he would expect to see “unequivocal stone artifacts,” he said. He doesn’t think the cobbles found at the Cerutti mastodon site meet that standard.

Rick Potts, the director of the Human Origins Program at the National Museum of Natural History, was more measured in his appraisal. Though he thought the team’s analysis of the bones and stones was thorough, he pointed out a few oddities about the site. For one, it’s unusual that people would use hammer stones to process bones but not any sharp-edged tools, even though that technology had been around for more than a million years. For another, as he pointed out, the mastodon’s molars were also crushed, and there’s no reason he can think of that humans would crack the huge teeth. If those teeth were broken by natural forces, then perhaps the rest of the bones were too.

“It’s not a solid case,” Potts said, “but my goodness it’s a compelling one.”

Briana Pobiner, a paleoanthropologist at NMNH who specializes in studying tooth and tool marks on ancient bones, agreed.

“It’s funny because when I first started reading the paper I didn’t see the extra zero and I thought, ‘oh, 13,000 years, this sounds good,'” Pobiner said. “And then I saw the extra zero and I thought, ‘Holy cow!’”

Pobiner acknowledged that the Cerutti site contains less archaeological evidence than scientists would like before making a claim of this magnitude. But as someone who has spent her whole career looking at scratch marks and breakage patterns on bones, the evidence looks to her like it could be human modification.

Deméré said that he and his colleagues considered possible alternate explanations, but none seemed to fit. Trampling by another large animal would not produce those breakage patterns, they concluded. And environmental forces, like a powerful flood, would have broken the smaller, more fragile bones as well as the big one. Holen added that the rock layer in which the artifacts were found is largely intact — it does not seem to have been subject to disturbances like earthquakes or upheavals that would make the site more difficult to interpret.

Erella Hovers, an archaeologist at Hebrew University in Jerusalem who reviewed the paper and wrote an analysis of it for Nature, said she thought the researchers did a thorough job of ruling out natural causes of the particular breakage patterns. She added that the evidence looks much like archaeological sites she has studied in Africa and the Middle East; if the same site was found in that part of the world, she said, people would have fewer questions about it.

The Cerutti site researchers expect to face scrutiny from his colleagues about the paper. That is partly why they have made 3-D images of the mastodon fossils available online.

“I think the models are important in terms of supporting the paper because they allow anyone to look at this evidence in much the same way the co-authors did,” co-author Adam Rountrey, collection manager at the University of Michigan Museum of Paleontology, said in a statement. “It’s fine to be skeptical, but look at the evidence and judge for yourself. That’s what we’re trying to encourage by making these models available.”

The scientists also hope that their paper will prompt their colleagues to take a closer look at this period in American history. Perhaps they will find more evidence of hominin presence, bolstering the Cerutti researchers’ claim. Or perhaps the mastodon site is a fluke — or a mistake — and they will find nothing at all.

“The thing to remember is it’s a beginning to a new line of inquiry. It doesn’t solve anything,” said Hovers. “It asks new questions.”

Cometary Impact 10,950 BC: The Alternative Archaeologists Were Right!

Looks like alternative archeaoligists like Graham Hancock, Velikovsky, DS Allen & JB Delair, David Hatcher Childress etc, can feel vindicated.

Wait for the backlash, or for some institution to claim the glory for themselves.

The Telegraph

Ancient stone carvings confirm how comet struck Earth in 10,950BC, sparking the rise of civilisations

 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/04/21/ancient-stone-carvings-confirm-comet-struck-earth-10950bc-wiping/

 

Ancient stone carvings confirm that a comet struck the Earth around 11,000BC, a devastating event which wiped out woolly mammoths and sparked the rise of civilisations.

Experts at the University of Edinburgh analysed mysterious symbols carved onto stone pillars at Gobekli Tepe in southern Turkey, to find out if they could be linked to constellations.

The markings suggest that a swarm of comet fragments hit Earth at the exact same time that a mini-ice age struck, changing the entire course of human history.

Scientists have speculated for decades that a comet could be behind the sudden fall in temperature during a period known as the Younger Dryas. But recently the theory appeared to have been debunked by new dating of meteor craters in North America where the comet is thought to have struck.

However, when engineers studied animal carvings made on a pillar – known as the vulture stone – at Gobekli Tepe they discovered that the creatures were actually astronomical symbols which represented constellations and the comet.

The idea had been originally put forward by author Graham Hancock in his book Magicians of the Gods.

The Vulture Stone, at Gobekli Tepe
The Vulture Stone, at Gobekli Tepe Credit: Alistair Coombs

Using a computer programme to show where the constellations would have appeared above Turkey thousands of years ago, they were able to pinpoint the comet strike to 10,950BC, the exact time the Younger Dryas begins according to ice core data from Greenland.

The Younger Dryas is viewed as a crucial period for humanity, as it roughly coincides with the emergence of agriculture and the first Neolithic civilisations.

Before the strike, vast areas of wild wheat and barley had allowed nomadic hunters in the Middle East to establish permanent base camps. But the difficult climate conditions following the impact forced communities to come together and work out new ways of maintaining the crops, through watering and selective breeding. Thus farming began, allowing the rise of the first towns.

Edinburgh researchers said the carvings appear to have remained important to the people of Gobekli Tepe for millennia, suggesting that the event and cold climate that followed likely had a very serious impact.

 

Position of the sun and stars on the summer solstice of 10,950BC
Position of the sun and stars on the summer solstice of 10,950BC Credit:  Martin Sweatman and Stellarium

Dr Martin Sweatman, of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Engineering, who led the research, said: “I think this research, along with the recent finding of a widespread platinum anomaly across the North American continent virtually seal the case in favour of (a Younger Dryas comet impact).

“Our work serves to reinforce that physical evidence. What is happening here is the process of paradigm change.

“It appears Göbekli Tepe was, among other things, an observatory for monitoring the night sky.

“One of its pillars seems to have served as a memorial to this devastating event – probably the worst day in history since the end of the ice age.”

Gobekli Tepe, is thought to be the world’s oldest temple site, which dates from around 9,000BC, predating Stonehenge by around 6,000 years.

Researchers believe the images were intended as a record of the cataclysmic event, and that a further carving showing a headless man may indicate human disaster and extensive loss of life. 

Symbolism on the pillars also indicates that the long-term changes in Earth’s rotational axis was recorded at this time using an early form of writing, and that Gobekli Tepe was an observatory for meteors and comets.

The finding also supports a theory that Earth is likely to experience periods when comet strikes are more likely, owing to the planet’s orbit intersecting orbiting rings of comet fragments in space.

But despite the ancient age of the pillars, Dr Sweatman does not believe it is the earliest example of astronomy in the archaeological record.

“Many paleolithic cave paintings and artefacts with similar animal symbols and other repeated symbols suggest astronomy could be very ancient indeed,” he said.

“If you consider that, according to astronomers, this giant comet probably arrived in the inner solar system some 20 to 30 thousand years ago, and it would have been a very visible and dominant feature of the night sky, it is hard to see how ancient people could have ignored this given the likely consequences.”

The research is published in Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry.

Why Are Mega Banks Buying Up The Water?

Thanks to Saru G at theConTrail.com for the heads up.

Water is rapidly becoming the new oil:

Apocalypse Tourism? Cruising the Melting Arctic Ocean

For those who think the Arctic ice is not melting

https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-crystal-serenity-northwest-passage-cruise/

Apocalypse Tourism? Cruising the Melting Arctic Ocean

Come aboard! Let’s sail the once-impenetrable Northwest Passage.

On Aug. 16, the Crystal Serenity set out from Seward, Alaska, carrying 1,700 passengers and crew, and escorted by a comparatively minuscule, 1,800-ton icebreaker. She circled west and north around the Alaska Peninsula and through the Bering Strait before heading east into the maze of straits and sounds that constitute the Northwest Passage. For centuries, explorers tried to establish a sea route here between Europe and Asia. Many met with ruin. A few stranded sailors famously ate their boots—and each other. When the Crystal Serenity emerged free and clear of the maze on Sept. 5, there were no accounts of scurvy or cannibalism, only tales of bingeing on themed buffets and grumbles from shutterbugs about the Arctic’s monotonous landscape.

Operated by Crystal Cruises, the Serenity became on that day the first passenger liner to successfully ply the Northwest Passage. As climate change melts Arctic sea ice twice as fast as models predicted, more and larger ships have made their way along these fatal shores. In 2013, the Nordic Orion was the first bulk cargo carrier to transit the Passage, hauling a load of coal.

Rates on the Serenity started at around $22,000 per person. For that, passengers were anointed, by Slate, “the world’s worst people”—for venturing into a vulnerable ecosystem in a diesel-burning, 69,000-ton behemoth. Canada’s National Post described the cruise as an “invasion” of indigenous communities. Britain’s Telegraph hinted at Titanic hubris, asking, Is this “the world’s most dangerous cruise”?

As for the Arctic villages the Serenity visited, they were, depending on whom you ask, either overwhelmed or overjoyed by the ship’s hordes of curious, wealthy strangers. The communities staged dances, hawked arts and crafts, and expressed hope that the Crystal Serenity reaches New York safely on Sept. 16. Assuming it does, Crystal Cruises plans to offer the route again next year, departing Anchorage on Aug. 15. Edie Rodriguez, the company’s chief executive officer, says that a few passengers have already rebooked.

 

I’m going to make an educated personal observation here: The ARCTIC is melting. The ANTARCTIC is growing in ice mass.

The massive multi disciplinary Operation SOCRATES has stated similar findings, with the aim being to find out why the Southern hemisphere seems largely unaffected by “Global Warming/Climate Change” while the Northern Hemisphere is affected dramatically.

I would suggest that there’s more to the picture than meets the eye, and readers sufficiently interested and motivated should do some research. Beware of disinformation though. Think critically and logically! ( And don’t forget the Geoengineering agenda.)

Possibly related:

BIGGER

Water From Thin Air? New Device Can Pull Water From Desert Air

This new solar-powered device can pull water straight from the desert air

You can’t squeeze blood from a stone, but wringing water from the desert sky is now possible, thanks to a new spongelike device that uses sunlight to suck water vapor from air, even in low humidity. The device can produce nearly 3 liters of water per day for every kilogram of spongelike absorber it contains, and researchers say future versions will be even better. That means homes in the driest parts of the world could soon have a solar-powered appliance capable of delivering all the water they need, offering relief to billions of people.

The new water harvester is made of metal organic framework crystals pressed into a thin sheet of copper metal and placed between a solar absorber (above) and a condenser plate (below).

Wang Laboratory at MIT

There are an estimated 13 trillion liters of water floating in the atmosphere at any one time, equivalent to 10% of all of the freshwater in our planet’s lakes and rivers. Over the years, researchers have developed ways to grab a few trickles, such as using fine nets to wick water from fog banks, or power-hungry dehumidifiers to condense it out of the air. But both approaches require either very humid air or far too much electricity to be broadly useful.

To find an all-purpose solution, researchers led by Omar Yaghi, a chemist at the University of California, Berkeley, turned to a family of crystalline powders called metal organic frameworks, or MOFs. Yaghi developed the first MOFs—porous crystals that form continuous 3D networks—more than 20 years ago. The networks assemble in a Tinkertoy-like fashion from metal atoms that act as the hubs and sticklike organic compounds that link the hubs together. By choosing different metals and organics, chemists can dial in the properties of each MOF, controlling what gases bind to them, and how strongly they hold on.

Source: Sciencemag.

 

Real Secrets Hidden In Antarctica Revealed?

 

There is a tremendous amount of focus on Antarctica in the Alternative Media at the moment, and as usual with hot topics, there’s everything from aliens, to lost civilisations, to hidden underground bases and bunkers for the elite. This recent presentation seems to provide some clarity amid the speculation.

Who knows, there could well be the remnants of “Atlantis”  down there or hidden extraterrestrial bases, but beware of disinformation when researching!

Weather control seems like a logical motive for all the activity at the Ice, especially in light of Operation SOCRATES underway right now.

Living and working in Christchurch, “The Gateway To Antarctica”, I get to see glimpses of activity at the Antarctic Operation Harewood base linked to the airport, and occasionally get a pass to the inner sanctum for specific aircraft tours, and can attest to the tight security and the heightened activity in both military operations and “civilian” research (NASA etc).

We know many nations have “HAARP” stations down there, and whatever’s going on, there’s clearly an obsession with climate study (and probably modification).

Enough rambling from me. On with the show. (Bring your own popcorn):

From The 1950’s: Frank Lloyd Wright Interview

As an interesting diversion from current events, readers might be interested in this fascinating interview with one of the most extraordinary minds of the Twentieth Century: Architect, socialist and maverick, Frank Lloyd Wright.

Wright was 88 when this interview took place in the 1950s and clearly still possessed a sharp mind. In fact the program was extended to double it’s usual 25 minute slot as there was so much material to cover.

Also fascinating in historical context (note the shameless cigarette advertising and Wright’s disdainful reaction!).

Enjoy.