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Science, Parascience, Religion, Imagination And The Deception Of The Human Mind

Originally posted on Official blog of Lara Lamberti:

The Human Mind

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So, that’s it.

I’m working on a new mystery series, and with this, I’m into a certain kind of research, and lots of questions and subjects of investigation are coming up on the way.

When I’m confronted with the decision whether to create fiction or documentary, I mostly end up with fiction.

I’ve been into the unexplained for many years now, after many other years when I studied psychology, visited a shamanic school, learned aroma therapy, was instructed in leading people into deep meditation, and many more things. I stayed with Berber people for weeks in the desert and participated in Native American shamanic rituals during my extensive stays in the U.S. I could say that I’ve seen a whole lot of the universe beyond the materialistic every day world.

I have to admit that while studying everything that was available about unexplained facts and  phenomena the whole UFO subject…

View original 1,358 more words

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The Disclosure Initiative: If It’s True…

…we want to know!

You too might want to support the Disclosure campaign.

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“Dedicated to ending the government imposed
truth embargo regarding an extraterrestrial
presence engaging the human race.” ~ Stephen Bassett

Message:

Join The PRG Tweet Storm

 

Greetings!

The Congressional Hearings to End the Truth Embargo with a Formal Disclosure

The Initiative by Elizabeth Trutwin

There is an Extraterrestrial Presence Engaging the Human Race

An overwhelming consensus of Citizens in the United States and the World agree there is indeed an Extraterrestrial Presence engaging the Human Race. Whether we look at Human Origins, Ancient Astronauts evidenced in literature and art, Contact Experiencers, Craft Sightings, Crop Circles or Extraterrestrial Life the evidence is abundant. If just one of the Extraterrestrial Craft that were thought to have crashed, did crash; it means Someone with intelligence and science far beyond our own have visited Earth.

We know much more than that. In fact many believe Extraterrestrials are living among us in their own Bases we cannot see under Lakes and below our Oceans to name a few. When Russian MiGs were shot down by the United States we had translators help us back engineer their technology. Then we built better Fighter Jets. When Extraterrestrial Craft were shot down we did the same thing. This is how our society gained infrared night vision, LED lights, fiber optics, computer chips and solid state transmitters. The United States first gained that Extraterrestrial technology when General Roger Ramey emptied the gadgets from a crashed flying saucer in 1947 near Roswell, New Mexico, U.S. Thus began The Truth Embargo.

The Role of The Space Act and Executive Order in a Formal Disclosure

The Space Act

The Space Act came to pass under the Eisenhower administration appropriated by Vice President Richard Nixon. The National Aeronautics and Space Act (NASA) of 1958 provided a cover story for NSA Astronauts. The Act declares: “The Congress declares that the general welfare and security of the United States require that adequate provision be made for aeronautical and space activities.” In other words our Countries SECURITY is threatened without NASA. The Institute for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) was established the same year. Stephen Bassett pointed out in a recent presentation that SETI is the most egregious use of science in all of history. By their existence they have cost many lives. Many witnesses to Extraterrestrial activities have died over the years unable to tell their story, unable to have their story be heard because a fake entity stands by with no “official” results. If SETI has ever found signals there is no chance in this world they will tell us as long as the Truth Embargo is allowed to continue.

It is The Space Act legislation which made it legal to steal any patent from any inventor related to free energy or exploring space.

The Space Act and the National Security Act both fall under the Department of Defense (DOD). NASA is directed by a civilian space agency except that activities of the weapons system defense of the United States are the responsibility of DOD. By this arrangement everything NASA does is classified.

Read full article and information about the initiative on Disclosure Media
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The 7 Most Haunted College Campuses In The World

Happy Halloween!
Pursuing a higher education comes with a price.

by 10/25/2014

Oh, wait, I’m sorry, were you thrown off by that last part? Basically, what I meant to say was that for some students, the college struggle goes beyond the academic and into the realm of the supernatural. Below, find the seven scariest real-life hauntings on college campuses:

7. Fordham University

tumblr_mc3vw5e67S1rdutw3o1_500The Bronx campus of Fordham University is gorgeous, but it also comes with icy ghost hands that will grab your shoulders in Keating Hall — the basement of which was once an old hospital morgue, if you believe the local legends. Also, ladies, be sure to say hi to the blonde ghost that haunts the shower room, even though she’ll never talk back. (She’s the silent type.)

6. Nagasaki University

Grudge-tumblr_static_2Nearly 70 years after the atomic bomb hit Nagasaki, “screams, cries, and the smell of burning flesh” have all been reported from both students and visitors.

5. University of Illinois

tumblr_m7yz18l82x1roaheko1_500Thinking about pursuing higher education at the University of Illinois? Great! Just hope you’re okay with the faceless man who terrorizes the student body. Legend has it, more than one student was found hanged in their closet after encounters with ‘Ol Facey.

4. Heidelberg University

39705-Clown-DemonWomen in Nazi Germany went through forced sterilization at the university’s clinic due to Hitler’s eugenic movement, and at nightfall, you can still hear them weeping. Understandably. Also, at least two Jewish professors were murdered in the Holocaust, and in their former classrooms, the the chalkboards have been known to “self-erase” and randomly produce strange words, written by no one.

3. Oxford University

Nearly_Headless_NickEngland’s famous Oxford University, the oldest in the English-speaking world, has a number of famous ghosts. Like, literally famous — the ghost of Colonel Francis Winderbank haunts Merton College library, while the headless spirit of Archbishop William Laud hangs out in the St. John’s College library.

2. University of Toronto

tumblr_m9h84pieeA1rdq2opo1_500In the 1850s, a stonemason named Ivan Reznikoff tried to kill his rival, Paul Diabolos, with an axe — supposedly over a shared lover. Diabolos supposedly got the better of Reznikoff and murdered him, hiding his body somewhere in the building. Now, there are three pieces of evidence that support this banana-pants story — one, the still-visible axe marks on a door where Reznikoff swung, two, skeletal remains found in the building after a fire, and three, the personal account of future respected lawyer and parliamentarian Allen Bristol Aylesworth, who personally spoke with a man claiming to be Reznikoff’s ghost.

1. Ohio University

tumblr_mdwtddaXa71qlr7ydo1_500Fox once shot an episode of “Scariest Places on Earth” here, due to its numerous reported paranormal incidents. Wilson Hall, in particular, is located in the middle of a pentagram consisting of five cemeteries, and a student’s reported death in room 428 in the 1970s led to subsequent residents of the room reporting paranormal activity. Legend has it, a second student later died in the same room after practicing witchcraft, and it’s been vacant and boarded up ever since.

Oh, and did we mention that there was a mental institution built next to the university, compete with a cemetery mostly populated by unmarked graves? And that there’s another dorm where a female student, Laura, fell to her death, and ever since then Bob Marley’s “Laura” won’t play on any musical device?

See more at: MTV.com

Original article at: MTV.com

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Vitamin K: The Link To Longevity

By Judy Ramirez 

sep2014_tslbovk_02Dr. Bruce Ames is one of the world’s leading authorities on aging and nutrition. Four years ago, Dr. Ames published research indicating that optimum intake of vitamin K plays an important role in longevity.1

A new 2014 study on vitamin K confirms that ample vitamin K intake can indeed help you live longer.2 In a group of more than 7,000 people at high risk for cardiovascular disease, people with the highest intake of vitamin K were 36% less likely to die from any cause at all, compared with those having the lowest intake.

This protection even extended to those with initially low vitamin K intake who boosted their consumption during the course of the study—demonstrating that it’s never too late to start gaining the benefits of vitamin K supplementation. Increasing intake conferred protection against cardiovascular death as well.2

Vitamin K is capable of opposing many of the leading causes of death in modern-day Americans—including atherosclerosis,3 osteoporosis,4 diabetes,5,6 and cancer2,7—because it has the unique ability to activate proteins involved in these conditions.

In this article, we will review a host of new studies that detail the impact of vitamin K supplementation on preventing these and other major age-related diseases.

Risk Reduction By Increased Vitamin K Intake

Condition Vitamin K Form Risk Reduction
All-Cause
Mortality
K2 26% (Highest vs. Lowest Intake)3
All-Cause
Mortality
K1 36% (Highest vs. Lowest Intake)2
Cancer K1 46% (Highest vs. Lowest Intake)2
Cancer, Advanced
Prostate
K2 63% (Highest vs. Lowest Intake)7
Cancer
Death
K2 28% (Highest vs. Lowest Intake)54
Coronary
Artery Calcification
K2 20% (Highest vs. Lowest Intake)30
Coronary Heart Disease K1 21% (Highest vs. Lowest Intake)66
Coronary Heart Disease K2 9% lower risk for each 10 microgram/d increased intake67
Coronary Heart Disease Mortality K2 57% (Highest vs. Lowest Intake)3
Metabolic Syndrome K1 27% for having low HDL-cholesterol*
49% for having elevated triglycerides*
82% for having high blood sugar*
(All Highest vs. Lowest Intake)68
Type II
Diabetes
K2 7% lower risk for each 10 microgram/d increased intake5
Type II
Diabetes
K1 17% reduction for each 100 microgram/d increased intake6
Type II Diabetes K1 51% with increased K1 intake vs. decreased or no change in intake6
*Based off of odds ratios

 

The Many Benefits Of Vitamin K

Vitamin K was first discovered in 1935, when it was found to be an essential nutrient to prevent abnormal bleeding in chickens.8 For decades thereafter, vitamin K was identified as the “coagulation vitamin” (in fact, the initial “K” comes from the German spelling, koagulation). During that time, it was established that vitamin K worked by activating certain proteins made in the liver that are required for normal blood clotting. Without sufficient vitamin K, blood would not clot, and severe bleeding would ensue.9,10

Vitamin K activates those blood-clotting proteins by making a small but vital chemical change in the proteins’ structure, specifically on the protein building block called glutamic acid.11

By the turn of the 21st century, scientists had learned that vitamin K produces similar changes to glutamic acid molecules to activate a handful of other vital proteins in the body, with the collective name of Gla-proteins.12-16 According to 2014 research, 16 different vitamin K-dependent Gla-proteins have been identified.17 This means that they depend on vitamin K to activate them in order to carry out their intended role.

With the discovery of the Gla-proteins, scientists learned that vitamin K is vital for much more than the healthy clotting of blood. For example, the Gla-protein in bone, called osteocalcin, is responsible for making sure calcium is deposited in bones, while the Gla-protein in arterial walls, called matrix Gla protein, prevents calcium from being deposited in arteries.18

Insufficient blood clotting was thought to be the main sign of vitamin K deficiency. However, scientists have since learned that you can have enough vitamin K to promote healthy blood clotting, yet still not have enough vitamin K for it to activate the Gla-proteins necessary to help prevent cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, and cancer, all conditions in which vitamin K-dependent proteins are known to be factors.13,14,19 Fortunately, studies show that vitamin K supplementation can significantly increase the amount of activated Gla-proteins in tissues—without over-activating the clotting proteins.18

Vitamin K And Atherosclerosis

As we age, calcium that belongs in our bones begins to make its appearance in other unwanted areas, including inside the linings of major arteries.20 Over time, normal smooth muscle cells in artery walls transform into bone-like cells through the deposition of calcium, essentially turning sections of artery into bony tissue that is not resilient and flexible, and does not have the ability to effectively regulate blood flow.19,21 This process lends literal reality to the term “hardening of the arteries,” which we now know as late-stage atherosclerosis.

Nature has provided a powerful inhibitor of arterial calcification in the form of matrix Gla protein, one of the 16 Gla-proteins activated by vitamin K. This specific Gla-protein is produced in arterial walls, but is only activated when sufficient vitamin K is present.3,14,15,19,22-24 In the absence of sufficient vitamin K, arterial calcification is able to continue unopposed, leading to advanced atherosclerosis and its deadly consequences, heart attacks and strokes.14,16 Indeed, in older men and women who had the highest levels of inactive matrix Gla protein (indicating low vitamin K levels), there was a nearly 3-fold increased risk of cardiovascular disease compared to those with the lowest levels.23

Researchers have known for nearly 20 years that insufficient vitamin K intake in the diet is related to atherosclerosis in the aorta, the body’s largest blood vessel.16 Since that time, a host of basic science and laboratory studies have indicated that higher vitamin K intake is essential for preventing atherosclerosis in major vessels of all kinds. Animal studies even show that vitamin K can “rescue” calcified arteries that occur as a result of the overuse of drugs that inhibit vitamin K, such as certain blood thinners.25,26

Another way matrix Gla proteins help protect against atherosclerosis is by inhibiting the production of inflammatory signaling molecules (cytokines), which contribute to plaque formation and calcification.27 People with the highest dietary intake of vitamin K have significantly lower levels of those inflammatory markers, and also of substances involved in appetite generation and insulin resistance, both of which are important in preventing atherosclerosis.28 (Some of these effects may be related to increased levels of another vitamin K-dependent Gla-protein that suppresses inflammation and promotes glucose tolerance.) 29

Human Studies On Vitamin K

sep2014_tslbovk_03  Human studies on dietary vitamin K intake have been somewhat inconsistent, probably because of confusion about which form of the vitamin is most iVit K 2mportant.30

Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) is the main dietary form of the vitamin, but vitamin K2 (menaquinone) has a stronger relationship to arterial calcification.15

In one study, people with the highest intake of vitamin K2 were 57% less likely to die of coronary heart disease compared with those with the lowest intake.3 In another study, women with the highest intake of vitamin K2 were found to be at a 20% lower risk for coronary artery calcification compared with women with the lowest intake levels, while the same study found that vitamin K1 had no significant impact.30

Vitamin K supplementation studies suggest that both forms of the vitamin contribute to protection from arterial calcification in atherosclerosis, with a slight edge for vitamin K2. For example, when healthy men and postmenopausal women supplemented with 500 micrograms of vitamin K1 per day, they experienced a modest 6% reduction in the progression of arterial calcification, but only in subjects with the most advanced disease at baseline.22 And a study using vitamin K1 in combination with vitamin D and minerals demonstrated that the combined supplement could slow the loss of arterial suppleness and promote elasticity.14

Similarly, supplementation with both 180 and 360 micrograms of vitamin K2 significantly reduced the amounts of inactivated matrix Gla protein, thereby lowering the risk of atherosclerosis with calcification; placebo recipients in that study showed no effect.31 In another study, a group of kidney disease patients on hemodialysis (who have a very high risk for advanced atherosclerosis with calcification) took either 135 or 360 micrograms of vitamin K2. Supplementation dramatically decreased the amount of inactivated matrix Gla protein by 77% at the lower dose, and 93% at the higher dose.32

Intriguingly, it is now apparent that women with atherosclerosis are more likely to have lower bone mass than women without atherosclerosis. They’re also more likely to have lower circulating vitamin K levels, highlighting the age-related trade-off between calcium in bones (which is desirable) and calcium in arterial walls (which is undesirable).20

Vitamin K And Osteoporosis

Sufficient vitamin K is also required in order to activate the Gla-protein osteocalcin, which binds tightly to bone minerals to create strong bones.33 With inadequate vitamin K, bones can’t hold on to vital calcium, which leads to osteoporosis.34 To make matters worse, the calcium has to go somewhere, so it enters the bloodstream, where it contributes to stiffening arteries.33

Fortunately, supplementation with vitamin K is an effective means of protecting your bones from osteoporosis.

A study of healthy postmenopausal women between 50 and 60 years old demonstrated that three years of supplementation with 1 mg/day of vitamin K1, plus 8 micrograms (320 IU)/day of vitamin D together with minerals, reduced the loss of bone in the hip and spine compared both to placebo recipients and to those supplemented with vitamin D and minerals alone.35

In another study, postmenopausal women with pre-existing osteoporosis took 1,500 mg of calcium carbonate and 45 mg of vitamin K2 or placebo each day for 48 weeks. Compared to baseline values, the women experienced an increase in spinal bone mineral density and a 55.9% reduction in inactive osteocalcin levels, while a 9.3% reduction occurred in the group taking only the calcium supplement.36 The same dose of K2 was later shown to maintain hip bone strength and improve the overall geometry of the femoral neck over a three-year period, while placebo recipients lost hip bone strength during that time.37

Even lower doses of 180 micrograms/day of vitamin K2 (especially in the form of longer-lasting MK-7, which is derived from natto or fermented soybeans), when given for three years, increased the amount of activated osteocalcin and produced significant improvements in bone mineral content and density in the lower spine and femoral neck, while also increasing bone strength and preventing loss of height in spinal vertebrae.38

Vitamin K2 has recently been recognized by the European Food Safety Authority as having an important role in maintaining normal bone health.38 When added to alendronate, a common anti-osteoporosis drug, vitamin K2 significantly increased bone mineral density in the femoral neck compared with alendronate alone.39

Vitamin K And Diabetes

Type II diabetics have an increased risk of bone fracture. This is likely due in part to the incomplete activation of the Gla-protein osteocalcin (caused by lack of vitamin K), and the decrease of calcium being deposited in bone that occurs as a result.40 Conversely, people with the highest vitamin K1 intakes have reductions in inflammatory markers related to diabetes.28

Vitamin K has also been found to have a direct impact on the diabetic state itself. In a group of healthy volunteers between 26 and 81 years old, higher dietary vitamin K1 intake was associated with greater insulin sensitivity and lower post-meal glucose levels.41 And in a study of older adults at high risk for cardiovascular disease, the risk of developing type II diabetes was reduced by 17% per 100 micrograms of K1 intake per day.6

Another study demonstrated that both vitamins K1 and K2 reduced the risk of developing diabetes. However, the stronger and more significant association occurred with K2, which reduced the risk of type II diabetes by 7% for each 10-microgram increase in intake.5

In addition to reducing the risk of diabetes, vitamin K has been shown to reduce the effects of diabetes as well.

Supplementation studies in animals show that diabetic rats, like diabetic humans, develop bone mineral loss. However, when diabetic rats were supplemented with vitamin K2, not only was osteopenia prevented, hyperglycemia was prevented as well.42

Human supplementation studies demonstrate that both K1 and K2 are effective in combating the effects of diabetes. In older, non diabetic men, three years of supplementation with 500 micrograms/day of vitamin K1 produced a significant reduction in insulin resistance compared with controls.43 And in a study of healthy young men, just four weeks of supplementation with 30 mg of K2 three times daily improved insulin sensitivity.44 This may have occurred as a result of an increase in the vitamin K-dependent Gla-protein osteocalcin, which has been shown in animal studies to increase insulin secretion and sensitivity.45

Vit K

Vitamin K And Cancer

Studies of vitamin K intake reveal potent preventive properties against several types of cancer, including prostate, colon, and liver cancers.46

When prostate cancer cells in culture are treated with vitamin K2, both those sensitive to male hormones (androgens) and those resistant to male hormones are unable to reproduce, and eventually die.47 Vitamin K2 has been associated with a 63% lower risk of advanced prostate cancer in men with the highest intake of the nutrient.7 Similarly, a higher ratio of vitamin K-activated osteocalcin versus inactive osteocalcin correlates closely with reduced prostate cancer risk, demonstrating the molecular connection.48

In human colon cancer cells, vitamin K2 has been shown to induce cancer cell death by several different mechanisms and to suppress the growth of colon tumors implanted into mice.49,50

Supplementation studies also reveal vitamin K’s powerful effect on the most common kind of liver cancer, called hepatocellular carcinoma. This cancer is almost always associated with alcoholism or hepatitis B or C infection.51 Although surgical or radiation treatment can destroy the primary tumor, recurrence is common and typically determines the long-term prognosis.52,53 Several human studies show that vitamin K2 supplementation can dramatically reduce the recurrence rate in hepatocellular carcinoma and may impact the survival rate as well.52,53

As with most nutrients, vitamin K is not the single answer to cancer prevention, but it shows tremendous promise, which highlights the importance of maintaining adequate levels through boosting your intake. A large European study showed that cancer death was 28% less likely overall in those with the highest versus lowest intakes of vitamin K2.54

Impact Of Vitamin K2 Supplement On Liver Cancer Patients53
Recurrence Rate, % Survival Rate, %
12 mo 24 mo 36 mo 12 mo 24 mo 36 mo
Vitamin K2 45 mg/day 12.5 39.0 64.3 100 96.6 87.0
Controls 55.2 83.2 91.6 96.4 80.9 64.0

 

Read full article at: Life Extension Magazine

Angkor Wat

Beyond Angkor: How lasers revealed a lost city

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Deep in the Cambodian jungle lie the remains of a vast medieval city, which was hidden for centuries. New archaeological techniques are now revealing its secrets – including an elaborate network of temples and boulevards, and sophisticated engineering.

In April 1858 a young French explorer, Henri Mouhot, sailed from London to south-east Asia. For the next three years he travelled widely, discovering exotic jungle insects that still bear his name.

Today he would be all but forgotten were it not for his journal, published in 1863, two years after he died of fever in Laos, aged just 35.

Mouhot’s account captured the public imagination, but not because of the beetles and spiders he found.

Readers were gripped by his vivid descriptions of vast temples consumed by the jungle: Mouhot introduced the world to the lost medieval city of Angkor in Cambodia and its romantic, awe-inspiring splendour.

“One of these temples, a rival to that of Solomon, and erected by some ancient Michelangelo, might take an honourable place beside our most beautiful buildings. It is grander than anything left to us by Greece or Rome,” he wrote.

 

His descriptions firmly established in popular culture the beguiling fantasy of swashbuckling explorers finding forgotten temples.

Today Cambodia is famous for these buildings. The largest, Angkor Wat, constructed around 1150, remains the biggest religious complex on Earth, covering an area four times larger than Vatican City.

It attracts two million tourists a year and takes pride of place on Cambodia’s flag.

But back in the 1860s Angkor Wat was virtually unheard of beyond local monks and villagers. The notion that this great temple was once surrounded by a city of nearly a million people was entirely unknown.

It took over a century of gruelling archaeological fieldwork to fill in the map. The lost city of Angkor slowly began to reappear, street by street. But even then significant blanks remained.

Then, last year, archaeologists announced a series of new discoveries – about Angkor, and an even older city hidden deep in the jungle beyond.

An international team, led by the University of Sydney’s Dr Damian Evans, had mapped 370 sq km around Angkor in unprecedented detail – no mean feat given the density of the jungle and the prevalence of landmines from Cambodia’s civil war. Yet the entire survey took less than two weeks.

Their secret?

Lidar – a sophisticated remote sensing technology that is revolutionising archaeology, especially in the tropics.

Mounted on a helicopter criss-crossing the countryside, the team’s lidar device fired a million laser beams every four seconds through the jungle canopy, recording minute variations in ground surface topography.

The findings were staggering.

Lidar technology has revealed the original city of Angkor - red lines indicate modern features including roads and canals

Lidar technology has revealed the original city of Angkor – red lines indicate modern features including roads and canals

The archaeologists found undocumented cityscapes etched on to the forest floor, with temples, highways and elaborate waterways spreading across the landscape.

“You have this kind of sudden eureka moment where you bring the data up on screen the first time and there it is – this ancient city very clearly in front of you,” says Dr Evans.

These new discoveries have profoundly transformed our understanding of Angkor, the greatest medieval city on Earth.

Phra Sav Ling Povn, palace of the leprous king, near Angkor Wat, circa 1930

Phra Sav Ling Povn, palace of the leprous king, near Angkor Wat, circa 1930

At its peak, in the late 12th Century, Angkor was a bustling metropolis covering 1,000 sq km. (It would be another 700 years before London reached a similar size.)

Angkor was once the capital of the mighty Khmer empire which, ruled by warrior kings, dominated the region for centuries – covering all of present-day Cambodia and much of Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar. But its origins and birthplace have long been shrouded in mystery.

A few meagre inscriptions suggested the empire was founded in the early 9th Century by a great king, Jayavarman II, and that his original capital, Mahendraparvata, was somewhere in the Kulen hills, a forested plateau north-east of the site on which Angkor would later be built.

But no-one knew for sure – until the lidar team arrived.

The lidar survey of the hills revealed ghostly outlines on the forest floor of unknown temples and an elaborate and utterly unexpected grid of ceremonial boulevards, dykes and man-made ponds – a lost city, found.

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Most striking of all was evidence of large-scale hydraulic engineering, the defining signature of the Khmer empire.

By the time the royal capital moved south to Angkor around the end of the 9th Century, Khmer engineers were storing and distributing vast quantities of precious seasonal monsoon water using a complex network of huge canals and reservoirs.

Harnessing the monsoon provided food security – and made the ruling elite fantastically rich. For the next three centuries they channelled their wealth into the greatest concentration of temples on Earth.

One temple, Preah Khan, constructed in 1191, contained 60t of gold. Its value today would be about £2bn ($3.3bn).

But despite the city’s immense wealth, trouble was brewing.

At the same time that Angkor’s temple-building programme peaked, its vital hydraulic network was falling into disrepair – at the worst possible moment.

The end of the medieval period saw dramatic shifts in climate across south-east Asia.

Tree ring samples record sudden fluctuations between extreme dry and wet conditions – and the lidar map reveals catastrophic flood damage to the city’s vital water network.

With this lifeline in tatters, Angkor entered a spiral of decline from which it never recovered.

In the 15th Century, the Khmer kings abandoned their city and moved to the coast. They built a new city, Phnom Penh, the present-day capital of Cambodia.

Life in Angkor slowly ebbed away.

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When Mouhot arrived he found only the great stone temples, many of them in a perilous state of disrepair.

Nearly everything else – from common houses to royal palaces, all of which were constructed of wood – had rotted away.

The vast metropolis that once surrounded the temples had been all but devoured by the jungle.

 

Source: BBC

Image credit: David Lazar

titan-moon

Cassini Watches Mysterious Feature Evolve in Titan Sea

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September 29, 2014

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft is monitoring the evolution of a mysterious feature in a large hydrocarbon sea on Saturn’s moon Titan. The feature covers an area of about 100 square miles (260 square kilometers) in Ligeia Mare, one of the largest seas on Titan. It has now been observed twice by Cassini’s radar experiment, but its appearance changed between the two apparitions.

Images of the feature taken during the Cassini flybys are available at:

http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA18430

The mysterious feature, which appears bright in radar images against the dark background of the liquid sea, was first spotted during Cassini’s July 2013 Titan flyby. Previous observations showed no sign of bright features in that part of Ligeia Mare. Scientists were perplexed to find the feature had vanished when they looked again, over several months, with low-resolution radar and Cassini’s infrared imager. This led some team members to suggest it might have been a transient feature. But during Cassini’s flyby on August 21, 2014, the feature was again visible, and its appearance had changed during the 11 months since it was last seen.

Scientists on the radar team are confident that the feature is not an artifact, or flaw, in their data, which would have been one of the simplest explanations. They also do not see evidence that its appearance results from evaporation in the sea, as the overall shoreline of Ligeia Mare has not changed noticeably.

The team has suggested the feature could be surface waves, rising bubbles, floating solids, solids suspended just below the surface, or perhaps something more exotic.

The researchers suspect that the appearance of this feature could be related to changing seasons on Titan, as summer draws near in the moon’s northern hemisphere. Monitoring such changes is a major goal for Cassini’s current extended mission.

“Science loves a mystery, and with this enigmatic feature, we have a thrilling example of ongoing change on Titan,” said Stephen Wall, the deputy team lead of Cassini’s radar team, based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “We’re hopeful that we’ll be able to continue watching the changes unfold and gain insights about what’s going on in that alien sea.”

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and ASI, the Italian Space Agency. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The radar instrument was built by JPL and the Italian Space Agency, working with team members from the United States and several European countries.

For more information about Cassini and its mission, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/cassini

http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov

Source: NASA news
IMG_3362.JPG

Traces of Neanderthal Virus DNA Found in Modern Human Genomes

IMG_3361

Even though the last common ancestor of Homo sapiens and Neanderthals lived at least 400,000 years ago, traces of our cousins can still be found in our DNA. Fragments of DNA from viruses that affected Neanderthals have been found in modern human genomes according to new research led by Emanuele Marchi from the University of Oxford’s Department of Zoology, which was was published online this month in Current Biology.

Marchi’s results show that humans today have traces of Neanderthal viruses in portions of our DNA that don’t code for protein. DNA from Denisovan bone fragments was compared with genetic samples from Neanderthals and cancer patients today. The results showed that viruses that infected Neanderthals nearly half a million years ago can still be found in our genomes today, and researchers aren’t sure yet what implications that DNA may have for modern diseases like HIV and cancer.

Viral DNA that gets passed down though DNA is known as endogenous retroviruses (ERVs). While ERVs make up almost a tenth of our genomes, it is found in regions that we don’t really understand. There are hints that some of these ERVs can team up to cause disease, but it requires a lot more study. Future research will seek to understand ERVs better to determine if it still has pathogenic properties and if those ancient genetic sequences can possibly be used to target treatments.

As genetic sequencing techniques continue to improve, we will continue to understand our evolutionary history more completely. By learning more about what makes us who we are, we will be able to exploit those processes to improve our quality of life while we’re here and will make it better for those who come after.

Found on: ifl science

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potw1108a

Alien Contact in Puerto Rico?

Shortly before the dawning of the 1960s, a historic document, with the title of Searching for Interstellar Communications, was prepared by Phillip Morrison and Giuseppe Conconi, a pair of physicists at Cornell University, and which was published within the prestigious pages of Nature. Its focus: the potential feasibility of seeking out alien life via high-powered microwaves.

It was a paper that received a great deal of interest, particularly so from a man named Frank Drake, who chose to turn the theories of Morrison and Conconi into reality at the Green Bank National Radio Astronomy Observatory, in West Virginia.

In October 1961, a conference of what became known as the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) was held at Green Bank, and Drake proved to be the stand-out character, when he revealed to the audience what has famously become known as the Drake Equation – a theoretical means to try and determine the number of intelligent, alien cultures that might exist in the known universe.

Radio-telescope-570x294When Frank Drake chose to focus his work on a quest for extraterrestrial life, it was a decision that ultimately took him to none other than Puerto Rico and its now-famous Arecibo Radio Telescope, of which Drake ultimately rose to the rank of director.

All of which brings us to a new, breaking story just now shared with me by good friend Joshua P. Warren, who is currently on Puerto Rico.

Josh says: “An independent group of researchers in Puerto Rico believe they possibly made contact with ‘beings from elsewhere’ last Friday, August 15, 2014, 37th anniversary of the mysterious ‘WOW! Signal’ captured by SETI.”

The “Arecibo Project,” led by Joshua P. Warren, Director of the Bermuda Triangle Research Base, spent the day transmitting radio messages into outer space from Arecibo, Lajas, and other parts of the island, asking ET to appear around certain GPS coordinates as a live webcam streamed footage of the general location.

A variety of anomalies were captured on camera, including a “saucer-shaped object” that appeared and which then shot straight up into the sky, accompanied by a strange, high-pitched tone.

Warren’s team compared that tone to the famed WOW! Signal, and say it is so similar they think the UFO possibly sent this signal to them as a sign of successful communication.

“We believe the UFO may have sent us the same type of signal that came from space, and was recorded by SETI, 37 years ago,” says Josh. He adds: “This was a complete surprise. Though it was picked up via a webcam microphone, and not a broad dish like SETI had, our analysis thus far has shown it is essentially a demodulated signal from the WOW! transmission turned into audio.”

The message sent into space, an invitation for contact, was recorded by George Noory, host of “Coast to Coast AM” the largest overnight radio program in North America.

Depositphotos_4516846_s-570x379Live footage was being analyzed in Washington DC at the studio of filmmaker C. Eric Scott, while audio was being processed at a lab in North Carolina. The researchers are asking for others with expertise to analyze the UFO images and compare the audio themselves. Data is freely posted at: www.AreciboProject.com

When asked for his opinion of what the “beings” may be, Warren said:

“After my 7 years of research here, the accumulating evidence suggests we may be dealing with a new form of life in Puerto Rico. Sometimes huge, and sometimes small drones, I believe these beings could be a highly-advanced, extremely sleek and efficient organic/electronic hybrid. They have probably evolved much longer than humans, and are now capable of inter-stellar and inter-dimensional travel, seeming to pop in and out of our visible dimensions almost instantly.

“Hundreds of years of native lore, combined with our modern research, indicate they might be sensitive to human thought, often engaging in contact when a highly-focused human, or group of humans, telepathically projects a desire to interact with them. We don’t know their ultimate agenda, but if it were detrimental to humans, we’d likely have been harmed by now.”

Source: Mysteriousuniverse

 

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Kola Kenda: Sri Lanka’s Energy Dish

For the readers who follow Mystica’s “Better Life” category, here comes a dish from Sri Lanka with a lot of benefits for your health and life energy. We were notified of this dish by a Sri Lankan member of our open think tank and found the information worth to be made available to a broader audience.

We’re talking about Kola Kenda, a herbal soup made of indigenous leaves, local rice and water, sometimes coconut. Some of the indigenous leaves used to make this porridge are Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica), sessile joyweed (Alternanthera sessilis), known as mukunuwenna in Sri Lanka, or Haathawariya (Asparagus recemosus). However, any type of edible, dark green leaves can be used.

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Other types of plants used: Welpenela [Cardiospermum Halicacabum (Sapindaceae)], Aubergene (Elabatu), Polpala (Aerva lanata), Avacado

Dark green leaves provide fibre, calcium, vitamin K, iron and even folic acid. Many Sri Lankans prefer to eat leaf porridge on an empty stomach at breakfast.

Health benefits of leaf porridge:

- Treats fatigue, constipation, high blood pressure
– Enhances digestive functions
– Reduces cholesterol
– Prevents cancer and heart diseases.
– Enhances the immune system and helps maintain bones and teeth, as well as reduces inflammation.

The website ceyherbal.com, from which some of the information here has been extracted, proposes the following recipe, adding that “leaf porridge can be made using any number of edible, local dark green leaves”:

Select the type of leaves you wish to use
Boil rice (you can use about 1-2 cups) and transfer this rich into a large container
Pour fresh coconut milk from scraped coconut or coconut milk from tins into the rice (1 tin)
Add salt to your liking.
Blend the leaves (about two handfuls) and a one cup of water in a food processor or blender.
Add the blended leaf mixture into the container with the rice, salt and coconut milk.
Feel free to add more water or coconut milk according to your preference.
Bring ingredients to a boil for about 5 minutes.

More recipes with slight variations to match your personal taste can be found browsing “Kola Kenda”. There seem to be many more options of preparation.

 

 

Gigantic Ocean Vortices Seen From Space Could Change Climate Models

By  – 06.26.14

The weather is a dance between an odd couple: the frantic atmosphere and the staid sea. The atmosphere changes quickly, as when a strong wind suddenly starts to blow or a cyclone careens ashore. The ocean seems more sedate. Its wide gyres trace the edges of continents, carrying sun-warmed water from the equator out towards the poles. Even the rough storms that terrorize sailors are more the sky’s fault than the sea’s. The waves that toss a ship are whipped up by the wind.

But it turns out that the ocean makes its own gestures; it just makes them very slowly. Enormous vortices of water, measuring 60 miles across, spin their way across the sea at a deliberate pace—3 miles per day. Oceanographers have dubbed them mesoscale eddies for their middle size, larger than a wake formed by an aircraft carrier and smaller than a gyre. Each one is like an upside down mountain of water, held together by its own rotation and extending about 3,000 feet beneath the surface. In the video above, eddies show up as red and blue dots dancing around. (Red ones spin clockwise, blue ones counterclockwise.) Just how much water gets carried around by all these eddies? The total is staggering: more than 30 times the amount dumped by all the world’s rivers into the ocean, according to a paper published today in Science. Other stuff gets caught in the vortices and taken along for the ride. This huge network of eddies may be shipping packets of pollutants, organic nutrients, and dissolved carbon all around the world.

These eddies are almost invisible unless you look from space. For decades, oceanographers have been tracking eddies using NASA satellites. By bouncing a pulse of radar off the surface of the water and recording the time it takes to return, the satellites can measure their distance from the water to within less than an inch. This astounding accuracy turns out to be necessary, since unlike the deep ship-swallowing whirlpools of Greek mythology, the depression at the center of an eddy is a mere 20 inches.

Enormous ocean eddies are measured using satellites (height map, top layer) and submersibles (vorticity map, bottom layers). Ocean University of China

Enormous ocean eddies are measured using satellites (height map, top layer) and submersibles (vorticity map, bottom layers).
Ocean University of China

To reconstruct the 3-D structure of the eddies and find their volume, a team of oceanographers led by Bo Qiu of the University of Hawaii used data from underwater floats. More than 3,000 ARGO submersibles are scattered around the globe, lurking under the surface. Each comes to the surface every 10 days to report the water temperature, salt content, density, and velocity. An eddy, once born, might travel for months or years before dissipating. By combining a decade of satellite and submersible data, the researchers were able to track the incredible mass of water collectively moved by eddies across the entire world. Qiu’s calculations surprised even him.

“We didn’t expect the number to be that high,” he said. “We know they propagate westward, and there are a lot of eddies. But the mass… there’s an order of magnitude more than we expected.”

Previously, it was thought that the steady currents like the Gulf Stream were almost entirely responsible for moving stuff through the ocean. The ocean transports trash, nutrients, radioactive waste, dissolved carbon dioxide and heat all around the world, and the latter two are especially important for understanding climate change. Qiu’s study raises the possibility that eddies also make a substantial contribution to these transports.

This paper will kick off a wave of research among climate modelers, says Ryan Abernathey, who studies the impact of ocean circulation on climate at Columbia University.  “The volume estimate is really surprising,” he said. “This is an important effect. The next question is how leaky the eddy is.” The eddy is made of water, after all, and the difference between inside and outside is not precise. If, say, the dissolved carbon caught in an eddy slowly slips out, then after a year of meandering an eddy may have left its original contents an ocean away. But if the eddies hold their cargo tightly, they might be shipping enormous packages of carbon, salt, and pollutants from Australia to Africa and from Europe to America. Scientists are now trying to figure out how the packages effect local ecosystems and the planet’s climate.

 

Originally posted on: Wired.com