Deep in the cosmic jungle, an oasis awaits with Mother Earth’s children, her Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. The earth signs need to apply energy through material conducts. Materialism for earth types is not just money and appliances. Material is the silk of petal, the cushion of grass, the coolness of air, their skin brushing the leaves. Taurus is the investor, the creator, and the designer. It was Taurus who designed the harps and instruments for the Gods. It is Taurus who plants the sunflowers, nurtures the blossom, and uses their skin to kiss the sun. The sensual, material investment of Taurus gives life to art and existence. The second earth sign is Virgo, the intellect of the triad, the repairer. The seasonal rhythms and cyclones flow and circulate in the mind, seeking cracks in the environment that must be repaired. The stunning artistry and tapestry of the world comes undone without the observation of Virgo, whose hands are weaved with intricate talents that gently sew any tear back together. It is Virgo who secretly primes the roots that have been cracked, it is Virgo who allows water to be delivered once again. While the other signs sleep, Virgo stays awake, eternally nocturnal, unwilling to let a tiny break become catastrophe. Capricorn is the final earth sign. This is the preserver, conserver, and protector. Capricorn has the ability to store everything in freeze frame, like a crystal blanket of preservation, the Capricorn perceives long lasting value in everything. The masterpiece of material becomes the responsibility of Capricorn. The earth signs are environmental conservationists, typically concerned about climate change and threatening human activity. The earth signs feel the closest affinity with Mother Nature, she pulses through the body of Taurus, she thinks through the mind of Virgo, and she declares law through the action of Capricorn.
Yesterday we covered Grubbin and Charjabug, so it is only natural that we complete the family today with Vikavolt. Vikavolt is a stag beetle, specifically based on a member of the genus Cyclommatus, known for their long mandibles and metallic bodies.
A stag beetle’s large mandibles are used as weapons. They fight over food, territory, and mates. When they wrestle, they pick each other up with their pincers to flip their opponent vulnerably onto the back, or off the branch altogether.
Vikavolt is…different. Its mandibles are definitely used as a weapon, except they are a projectile weapon. An electric railgun.
A railgun is a projectile launcher that is made of two conducting arms, called rails. Vikavolt’s mandibles are the rails. Electric current flows inwards through one rail and outwards through the other, creating a “U” shape of current. Since moving electricity creates a magnetic field, a strong one grows in between the two rails and this magnetic field is a pushing force for whatever conductive material you want to shoot out. In Vikavolt’s case above, it shoots out a plasma ball. Plasma railguns are typically require a vacuum to be efficient, but the principal is still the same.
Railguns are able to fire projectiles with huge speeds up to 2,500 m/s (8,200 ft/s), which is about 7 times the speed of sound.
Vikavolt’s mandibles act as a railgun. Electric energy flows inwards in one mandible, and outwards in the other. This creates a strong magnetic field in the center, which propels projectiles at high speeds towards its enemies.
In this theory I am going to attempt to explain how the Gems of Steven Universe could potentially function in real life. This theory is based on a relatively superficial understanding of things like Quantum physics, so a more knowledgeable person in such fields would likely be able to tear this theory a new one. In fact I encourage such critiques, as I find debates like this rather entertaining.
With that disclaimer out of the way, let’s try to answer how, with my woefully rudimentary understanding of quantum physics, that The Gems could potentially function in real life.
First we need to answer, what are the Gems? In the internet short called Classroom Gems, Pearl explains that Gems project hard light structures from their gems that comprise of their physical form from their gems. These Gems contain all of what they are, and their body is, as Steven puts it, “just an illusion.”
An illusion with Mass.
Is the concept of Hard Light possible? Actually yes, and in fact we’ve reputedly already made headway in this department. Princeton University has reported that they have begun Crystallizing Light.
How have they achieved such a thing you ask?
Well what they did was they created a super conductive structure where the billions of atoms inside of it worked in tandem to create what they call an “artificial atom.” Photons that come in contact with this superconductive artificial atom take on the properties of said atoms, and they begin to interact with each other like particles. These photons, now entangled together like particles, began behaving like the states of matter, assuming qualities of liquids and crystallized solids.
In these experiments at Princeton, they reported that they were able to make light slosh about in a contained area like a liquid, and they were able to “freeze” this light into a Solid as well, all thanks to this superconducting “artificial atom” structure.
So we know now that there are potentially circumstances in which light photons can be made to behave like particles, thus creating hard light structures that are entirely malleable and able to shift between liquid and solid states very easily (assuming all this data is viable and laudable of course.) This sounds eerily similar to the Gem’s “physical” bodies. Much like with the results of these experiments, they are able to alter their physical forms at will, and as solids they behave just like regular physical bodies, if not much more durable.
So this begs the question, could a Gem potentially function as a superconductor?
A Superconductor is what is known as a Macroscopic Quantum effect, or something in quantum physics that is observable in large scale, as supposed to the atomic scale that quantum effects are normally associated with. A material becomes a superconductor when it reaches a temperature that allows energy to have zero resistance while traveling through the object. Normally an object’s conductivity is subject to resistance, which will cause the energy traveling through the object to be expelled via heat. This is why batteries run out of power when you put them inside something, because that energy is eventually expelled out of the wires via heat instead of continuing to circulate in the circuitry. In a Superconductor, the energy never leaves the circuitry and continues the circuit indefinitely until it no longer has its super conductive properties.
This is consistent with Gems in Steven Universe, as all the energy they will ever need is inside their gems. While real life super conductors require intensely cold (or hot) temperatures in order to achieve this quantum state of conductivity, the Gems themselves appear to be a highly sought after theoretical state simply referred to as a “room temperature superconductor.”
A room temperature superconductive material would change the world of technology forever. Extremely advanced technology that is theoretically possible, but require an intense amount of energy with conventionally conductive materials, would be able to achieve the same effects with a room temperature superconductor with very little or no energy loss. As long as the equilibrium of Superconductivity is maintained, anything that utilized such materials would be able to function indefinitely.
This as well is consistent with Gems from Steven Universe. While each gem has variations on how much power they can exert at a given time, as long as they maintain within their boundaries and limitations, their gem forms will hold and sustain themselves for thousands of years with no sign of deterioration. This would also explain why maintaining larger hard light bodies than their Gems are equipped for is taxing for them. By pushing themselves beyond their equilibrium, they are losing their superconductivity and are losing energy from their gems via heat.
When a gem is poofed, they retreat inside of their gems restore the equilibrium that superconductivity offers before reforming their bodies.
Can a Gem behave as a Superconductor? Gems, Diamonds and the like are composed of Carbon. Carbon can most definitely be used as a superconductor, especially as shown with experiments with a substance called Graphene.
Graphene is essentially a 2 dimensional diamond, a lattice of carbon a single atom thick that is intensely durable (many times stronger than steel) and is a step in the direction of finding that coveted room temperature superconductor. Part of the process that takes place in the Kindergartens therefore, is changing the gem from a conventionally conductive substance to a room temperature super conductor, and feeding the energy that is drained from around them into the gem so it can achieve equilibrium inside of it and they can pop out fully formed.
This would also explain why better formed gems like The Era 1′s are able to create things like Gem Weapons, while Era 2′s can’t even shapeshift. Gems like Garnet have energy to spare, so they can use it to create other hard light structures besides their bodies without affecting their equilibrium, while a gem like Peridot cannot afford such exertion.
So far we’ve explained that, theoretically speaking, the Gems are a room temperature superconductive structure made of carbon, which house within them an equilibrium of energy that can be used to manipulate photons into behaving like particles, which they use to comprise their physical forms. Next is to explain where the intelligence and personality comes from. This is decidedly easier to explain.
The Gems are artificial intelligence.
Each atom inside of this room-temperature superconductive gem is a transistor, the thing that sends those 1′s and 0′s that are the building blocks of any and all computer programs and languages. We already have single atom transistors, so applying them in an intricate structure in the form of a seemingly ordinary gemstone is both plausible and practical. In fact we are currently working on a device that uses graphene (that afore mentioned 2 dimensional diamond) that uses light instead of electricity to compute things. In the lattice of graphene there is a single atom which operates as an “optical switch”
Or a switch that can be flipped on an off at the speed of a photon.
To put it in more simplistic terms: Its a computer that does its computing at the speed of light and is woven together at the atomic level, not with visible circuit boards. The kind of processing power such a structure would have would definitely allow for an artificial intelligence comparable with or even significantly smarter than the average human.
So to recap: A Gem from Steven Universe, in real life, would theoretically be an Artificial intelligence, programmed into an atomic, superconductive-supercomputer (which computes at the speed of a photon/light) made of a type of carbon, has an equilibrium of light based energy within itself that won’t deplete as long as they stay within their boundaries of how hard they can exert themselves, and can manipulate photons into behaving like particles which comprise their physical forms.
Newly released photographs taken at Pamela’s shop Themis.
Top image edited by us for clarity.
Please be patient with us over the next several days as we try to answer as many questions as possible.
We have lots to report to you guys, but the biggest thing right now is that we will be flying to Los Angeles later this month to conduct interviews, purchase materials, and tour Jim and Pam’s universe to expand our work on the book project.
Thank you for your patience and for sticking around! We love you!
I’m back to blogging about the planets! Next up on the list is Earth. Earth is the third closest planet to the Sun and is undoubtedly the most studied. With a diameter of ~12700 km, it is the largest terrestrial planet in our Solar System as well as being the most dense. So far, it is the only location known to contain life, however, in the future, this may change. It has one moon, which I shall blog about later. Our planet has lots of different aspects worth exploring, however, for the sake of keeping this post a reasonable length, I’ll explore a handful.
We’ve known that breathing in or touching infectious/infected material is probably bad since before germ theory, but it wasn’t until 1943 that our first formal guidelines and laboratories for technician separation from the infectious agent were set up. It was the 1960s before the first conference to standardize personal protection equipment (PPE) guidelines.
These days we have 4 basic safety levels when working with biological agents: Biosafety Levels (BSL) 1-4
BSL 1 includes well-understood agents not known to regularly affect adult humans, and which present a minimal level of hazard to the technician. Canine hepatitis, non-pathogenic strains of E. coli, and other non-infectious bacteria. Aside from standard healthy-living procedures (washing with soap etc), laboratory equipment is decontaminated via autoclave between uses, protective gloves, and sometimes protective goggles are required.
BSL 2 includes many of the milder infectious diseases that we know about, such as Salmonella, measles, mumps, MRSA, C. difficile, and hepatitis A, B, and C. These are sometimes serious illnesses, but are not easily aerosolized in a laboratory setting. When aerosols may be formed, biological safety cabinets are used, extreme care is taken with sharps, access to the laboratory is limited during work, and all technicians are trained in pathogen handling procedures.
BSL 3 includes dangerous pathogens that can cause potentially lethal infection, such as Yersinia pestis (black plague), rabies, SARS, tuberculosis, tularemia, and yellow fever. Laboratory personnel have specific training in handling pathogenic and potentially lethal agents, and are supervised by competent scientists who are experienced in working with these agents. All procedures involving the manipulation of infectious materials are conducted within biological safety cabinets, specially designed hoods, or other physical containment devices, or by personnel wearing appropriate personal protective clothing and equipment. The laboratory usually has special engineering and design features, such as restricted access, double-door entrances, and sealed penetrations. BSL 3 laboratories are sometimes called warm zones.
BSL 4 includes the most lethal and exotic agents that there are no cures or vaccines for, such as Ebola, Lassa, Argentinian hemorrhagic virus, and smallpox (smallpox for its extreme virulence, despite its vaccine availability). When dealing with biological hazards at this level the use of a positive pressure personnel suit, with a segregated air supply, is mandatory. The entrance and exit of a level four biolab will contain multiple showers, a vacuum room, an ultraviolet light room, and other safety precautions designed to destroy all traces of the biohazard. Multiple airlocks are employed and are electronically secured to prevent both doors opening at the same time. All air and water service going to and coming from a biosafety level 4 (or P4) lab will undergo similar decontamination procedures to eliminate the possibility of an accidental release. Agents with a close or identical antigenic relationship to biosafety level 4 agents are handled at this level until sufficient data is obtained either to confirm continued work at this level, or to work with them at a lower level.
Members of the laboratory staff have specific and thorough training in handling extremely hazardous infectious agents and they understand the primary and secondary containment functions of the standard and special practices, the containment equipment, and the laboratory design characteristics. They are supervised by qualified scientists who are trained and experienced in working with these agents. Access to the laboratory is strictly controlled by the laboratory director.
The facility is either in a separate building or in a controlled area within a building, which is completely isolated from all other areas of the building. A specific facility operations manual is prepared or adopted. Building protocols for preventing contamination often use negatively pressurized facilities, which, even if compromised, would severely inhibit an outbreak of aerosol pathogens.
Wave of the future: Terahertz chips a new way of seeing through matter
Electromagnetic pulses lasting one millionth of a millionth of a second may hold the key to advances in medical imaging, communications and drug development. But the pulses, called terahertz waves, have long required elaborate and expensive equipment to use.
Now, researchers at Princeton University have drastically shrunk much of that equipment: moving from a tabletop setup with lasers and mirrors to a pair of microchips small enough to fit on a fingertip.
This is something that helps ward off negative energies and unwanted attention, but as a preventative measure. The Crystal Fence is something put into play, typically when a person has just moved into a place of residence, and after the area has been cleansed. Some cases, the area is fine as is, and the Crystal Fence can be placed without need to cleanse the air or land. This is a judgment call, but if you are unsure, best to do a cleansing to be on the safe side.
This fence is made by the use of quartz crystals, but you may use another crystal if you prefer. How this is done, is before you settle in for your first night, as often that is when energies will start to hone in on where you are, you get yourself 4 or 5 quartz crystals, and bring them into a safe space to program them. Before you instill your rules and energy into these stones, make certain you are not making your fence something that will ward off helpful land spirits that may already live there, or other types of beings that also may already live there. This is disrespectful, and may cause problems later on.
Four crystals is all that is needed for the fence itself, but the fifth is sort of a heart of the network. The four make up the fence itself, the fifth is sort of the charging base of the network you will be creating. The fifth, as I stated, is optional.
In the safe space you create, take your time with the stones each, instructing them of exactly what it is you want them to do. Tell them that they are to hold the intention and energy you give them, and they will form a network connecting to one another. Take the time to make certain the stones are each radiating with the proper energy, and give them the rules of the Fence. This will vary on your individual desires, but generally it is used to ward off unwanted energies and presences, so stating what energies are allowed, versus which ones it is to deter is the most effective approach. Example: “Crystals selected for this purpose, you are hereby tasked with forging an energetic barrier around this dwelling. None may pass this border that seek to cause harm, to misguide, to cause misfortune and trouble, or to create a negative space within these borders. Energies allowed to pass through these borders are those who are benevolent, Earth Tender Spirits that have no ill intent, and any that come with my highest good at heart, or who are seeking guidance but have no hidden ulterior motives. Higher vibrational energies may cross this border, if their energy is that of calm, neutral, harmless, and helpful. Lower vibrational energies will not register this place, and will thus remain unaware of its existence, as this fence will mask it from them. This fence refuses all who stand opposed to the ideals held by its borders. Any who breach this line will feel utterly uncomfortable in this space, and turn back immediately to be rid of the uncomfortable sensations caused by this fence.” This can be tailored to your needs/wants, this is an example of how I set these up.
Once the stones have been programmed and charged, take the four border stones and bury them at the four edges of your property line. If you so wish it, you may have them above ground in some sort of special place of your making for safe-keeping, but make certain it is not something insulated or artificial that may block its energy flow, or cut it off from the charges of the Earth’s surface. Conductive, natural materials are best. It is also best to keep them close to the ground.
The fifth stone, should you choose to use the five, will be placed in the heart of your home, or as close to it as you can get it. This can be in a decorative manner, but make certain it will not be disturbed by any animals or visitors to your home. Only you should handle the stones of your fence, unless you made this border with another person as well, in which case all involved may do so. This stone, once placed, is where you will do the final stage of the process. Link the border stones to the central ‘heart’ stone, and tell them they are now active, and all four border stones will be threaded through the central stone. This is your charging stone, and you may charge this how you see fit. Generally, the stones will draw energy from nature to keep powered, but your intention may start to weaken. A sigil with your intent is a good way to recharge the stones, or simply say another blessing over the heart stone, and reaffirm the strength and intention of your borders through it. Once the central stone is charged to your desire, tell it to send the energy through to the four connected border stones. This will recharge the current that runs through them. You will likely know when your walls are weakening and should be recharged.
This is a customizable procedure as well, but however you do this, please remember to make certain you are not doing this in an area already tainted. If you already live somewhere and want this fence in your space as well, clear it out before you set the borders!
If you live in an apartment or somewhere similar that has no yard, you may make the border within your walls. Have the four border stones in as close to the four corners of your apartment’s borders as you can get them. The idea is to seal off the entire place to these unwanted energies or visitors.
NOTE: If you create this border, it may make some people in your life suddenly not want to spend time at your place. If this happens, it means that their energy does not match up with how you’ve programmed your fence. Sometimes this is a good thing, particularly so if you are uncomfortable with said person, or just generally don’t like them. This can happen with family, as I have learned in making these fences. Energies that do not line up with your border’s rules will not like to cross that threshold, and the feeling remains highly uncomfortable for them, even running them off in many cases. They may not understand why they feel that way, but they will appear less and less, or try to get you to go to them. Things that do not resonate often will fall away.
5 things you didn’t know about... superballistic electron flow in graphene
Credit: The University
of Manchester. The superballistic flow of electrons through graphene
constrictions increases the material’s conductivity.
1. Observations of the electron flow in graphene at the
National Graphene Institute, University of Manchester, have confirmed a theory
proposed by MIT Professor Leonid Levitov’s team in March 2017 that electrons
pass through constrictions more easily when they interact with each other.
2. The team, led by Professor of Physics Sir Andre Geim, has
also demonstrated that this viscous flow of electrons, which the team are
calling superballistic, is more conductive than ballistic electrons.
3. This superballistic electron flow breaches the limit
imposed by the Landauer-Buttiker formalism, which defines the maximum
conductance for metals.
4. This superballistic flow has been observed to reduce
resistance, increasing conductivity. This is because some of the electrons stay
near the crystal edges of the graphene, moving relatively slowly, preventing
other electrons from colliding with these areas. These other electrons move
rapidly through the centre of the material, forming the superballistic flow.
5. An understanding of this behaviour could change the way
future nano-electronic circuits and electronic devices are designed.
To read Superballistic
flow of viscous electron fluid through graphene constrictions visit,
To find out moresee the upcoming October issue of Materials World.
so im writing a plan for the lesson that i’ll be teaching this week in my uni (as a part of the training) and the topic is “poetry”. during this lesson we talk about one text that discusses poetic forms and it also mentions rap. as i teach the freshmen students i’ve added some modern part - how rap is a sort of an urban version of poetry - and im planning to show them ‘guns and ships’ because let’s admit it, that rap part is slaying.
Alright, let’s get really specific, think about how her body actually works.
Every single cell in her body is conductive, but just the muscle and skin cells can hold charge. Her ability to hold the charge rather than just conduct it comes from her mind: she can will the cells to hold it.
By default, charge is stored equally throughout all of her skin cells. To gain extra strength, she can mentally move the charge to her muscle cells to power them up. She can also focus charge to specific skin cells to increase how much electricity those particular cells give off upon contact, creating her physical electric attacks.
When surprised or in a stressed state of mind, she loses the mental focus needed to control her cells, making her skin cells release all her charge to the first conductive material they touch. This can be metal, liquid, other people, anything. If grounded, it will likely just fade into the ground, but she wears rubber boots to prevent that, since if she’s not touching anything conductive, the charge has nowhere to go, and she can reabsorb it once she regains her focus.
Every transfer between skin cells and an outside object creates a small amount of heat, and if too much heat is created at once, it may singe the skin cells, rendering them unable to hold charge until the burn is healed. Since her body is accustomed to this, she does heal from burns very fast.
When a lot of charge is focused into a small area of skin, small amounts of electromagnetism are created. She lacks control of this ability, however. In her current state, this isn’t very useful, barely being enough to make a coin stick to her hand. With enough time and training, it may eventually allow her to climb metal surfaces with ease, or pull small metal objects towards her.
Looking for the inspiration behind what might be the future of wearable tech and body sensors? Look no further than that wad of chewed up bubble gum in your mouth. Researchers at the University of Manitoba in Canada have created a stretchable, wearable strain sensor by combining the rolled sheets of bound carbon atoms called carbon nanotubes with a stick of bubble gum.
Malcolm Xing and his colleagues say the material is sensitive and can accurately detect strains up to 530 percent. They tested it as a body motion sensor, and were able to monitor movement as small as what occurs when a person slowly breathes. It was also capable of reading humidity changes and was cheap to produce.
“Pairing these superb sensing performances with other functional properties, including attachability, foldability and formability, gum sensors promisingly introduce a wide range of potential applications in the human motion detection,” they write in a study published recently in the journal Applied Materials & Interfaces.
My boyfriend was so bored he decided to figure out how Hamon works and this is what he sent me
Electricity, all living things produce it. It’s how our muscles work, and it’s how our cells are able to do what they do.
Hamon is the technique of controlling and enhancing this production of electricity throughout the body through controlled breathing.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The next big thing is plasma.
Plasma is created when a gas has a strong enough electrical current passed through it and is what most people associate as the visual identifier of electricity. Lightning is plasma, and emits more energy than the sun, which is primarily made up of plasma.
What are vampires weak to in JoJo? Sunlight, particularly Ultraviolet Radiation. Lightning also produces UV radiation, although a much lower and briefer amount.
So, Hamon allows the user to enhance their electrical production and manipulate that electricity. This allows them to create plasma with enough intensity that it is able to replicate the energy emitted by sunlight. This is why Hamon is represented by electrical sparks. This is also why Hamon is more easily conducted through certain materials than others.
Now what about the other bullshit Hamon can do? Well, by enhancing the electrical production in the body, cells receive more stimuli resulting in significantly faster cellular regeneration, making wounds heal faster and slowing the rate of aging.
Stuff like the Zoom Punch is also a part of this. By loosening joints and muscles the user can extend their arm out by a great distance. Add that with the previously mentioned faster healing and it becomes a little more believable.
Caesar’s bubbles are also simple. He charges the bubbles with a high level of electricity which upon contacting something burst and discharge creating a small burst of plasma in the air.
The whole “making a lady become stunned and unable to move until a bird comes out of her mouth” is also kind of explainable. Once again, electricity. This time think a taser.
The other shit isn’t so easily explained. Bubble lenses and the hair barrier thing plus walking on water is not a science.
Carbon Nanofibers Give Charge To Broken Heart Repair
by Charles Q. Choi
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Scientists working to bring down those numbers have found that carbon nanofibers could improve artificially grown heart muscle to help people’s damaged hearts recover.
Roughly 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year, accounting for one in every four deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cardiovascular diseases cost the country more than $312 billion annually, a bill that is expected to surpass $1.5 trillion per year by 2030, according to a 2013 American Heart Association report.
Cardiovascular disease can lead to a heart attack, which blocks blood flow to the organ and starves it of oxygen. This leads to heart muscle cell death. Every year, about 715,000 people in the United States have a heart attack. With scarce hearts available for transplantation, half the people who live through an attack but suffer a damaged organ die within five years.
Look, I know you're firmly on the left side of the political spectrum but "Also Wikileaks is a joke now," really? How much of the Kool-Aid did you drink? Do you actually buy that Russian mouthpiece bit?
Ok. Sit down. Let’s talk about Wikileaks.
First of all, I’d like to talk about the good things Wikileaks has done. When it was first created, it was lauded by people on the left for contributing to transparency and exposing corruption to the world. It released evidence that the government was lying about the way it treated detainees, that Cayman Islands banks were committing crimes, the “secret bibles” of Scientology. Proof that the US was committing war crimes and lying about it. Chelsea Manning’s leaks, Edward Snowden’s leaks. Their collaboration with the Guardian. It was never perfect, of course, and some of the stuff it hosted was more of a breach of privacy than some earth-shattering reveal, but it was all in the spirit of a “no stone left unturned” philosophy.
Then they started to get crass and careless in their publications. They left unredacted State Department cables available online for over half a year, and who knows how many people that endangered. It’s ironic, in fact, that Wikileaks would accuse Clinton of mishandling classified information. A bit of the pot calling the kettle black, except rather than leaving that unredacted information vulnerable Wikileaks simply released it publicly to the world at large, so I would say the pot is quite a bit blacker. Consider the words of John Wonderlich, executive director of the Sunlight Foundation, another transparency advocacy group: “It’s become something else. It’s not striving for objectivity. It’s more careless. When they publish information it appears to be in service of some specific goal, of retribution, at the expense of the individual.”
The former German spokesperson for Wikileaks left in 2010, claiming, “[it] has a structural problem. I no longer want to take responsibility for it, and that’s why I am leaving the project.” He took with him thousands of documents saying he would wait for Julian to “restore security,” before permanently deleting them “to ensure that the sources are not compromised.” At least a dozen other members of Wikileaks followed him out that year, some citing “lack of transparency, lack of structure, and poor communication flow in the organisation.”
Additionally, they no longer release dumps like they used to. Now, like with the Podesta emails, they release them piecemeal to maximize their time in the public eye, which is transparently a political play. Their leaks are calculated, in service of a particular goal, rather than in the name of transparency. They are not a neutral organization anymore and have not been for a long time. In fact, since 2011, they have hardly released anything that does not target the US, its allies, or the NSA (AKA, the key rival of the FSB/KGB). Not to mention Assange has requested Russian security and was the one who advised Snowden to go to the Russians for asylum. What does Wikileaks put out when people criticize Russia or Putin? This kind of stuff:
Not to mention their use of the anti-Semitic (((brackets))) meme popularized by the alt-right and neo-Nazis online. Their obsession with the Rothschilds and Soros is unnerving, to say the least, the kind of thing you’d expect to read on /pol/. They’ve also taken stances on many issues disconcertingly similar to Russia’s. Furthermore, Julian Assange himself is a narcissistic asshole more concerned with his own image and his own hide than anything else. He has no journalistic integrity, he merely wants to sell books and be lauded for his deeds. That’s why, when the Swedish girl he had sex with asked him to get tested for STDs because he pressured her into unprotected sex or she would go to the police to force him to, he refused, blamed the controversy on US intelligence trying to destroy Wikileaks, and fled to Ecuador.
Let us not spend a moment pretending that Russia does not engage in the exact same human rights violations (if not worse) as the US, the exact same imperialism (if not worse) as the US, the exact same domestic corruption (if not worse) as the US. But where is Wikileaks condemning any of this, exposing any of it? Where are the leaks about Putin, or Russian politicians? They don’t exist, or if they do, Wikileaks isn’t publishing them. How convenient is that? It’s almost as though Assange is friendly to the Russian government, what he publishes is received from the Russian government, and furthers the interests of the Russian government. We already know that Putin has helped fund fascist movements in NATO countries. Considering that the majority of their leaks target the US/NSA and have for five years, it is no stretch to say that they are a de facto Russian intelligence clearing house.
Furthermore, the kind of stuff they are releasing could easily be forged. If Wikileaks is indeed a very biased organization as the mountains of evidence point to, then there is no reason to believe that what they have released is entirely legit. In fact, they seem to be fairly open and above board about their intention being to smear the United States’s reputation and that of certain individuals. That puts them on the level of brazen propaganda. They don’t even need to be the ones faking the leaks. If they are just publishing what they receive, they might not even know what is fake and what’s not. On the whole, they are just another propaganda wing now; worse, they may be acting as Putin’s own personal Correct the Record.
Finally, from an information security perspective, and as someone who has written before on this blog about the importance of privacy in the digital era, Wikileaks is downright dangerous. They gleefully destroy the foundation of a free and open Internet in their “noble” crusade for supposedly that exact thing. They have published email addresses, credit cards, phone numbers. As one privacy advocate put it, “I’m more afraid of WikiLeaks than I am of the NSA. When they first burst into our consciousness, they were acting like publishers and journalists. The idea that these rascals were turning the tables on the deep state had great emotional relevance to me. But they turned out not have any principles.” Here’s an example of Wikileaks publishing the personal emails and phone numbers of 20 million Turkish women. Even Edward Snowden has said of the organization, “Their hostility to even modest curation is a mistake.” Wikileaks, of course, responded with insult and ridicule, as they do to anyone who questions their motives or methods.
So anyone who cites Wikileaks earns no respect or trust from me. They are about as believable as an O’Keefe video, and no less politically motivated. People like you are always quick to accuse others of “drinking the Kool-Aid,” but I ask you – what exactly have you been drinking?
“Adam” was different: He immediately asked for everything relating to Russia, eastern Europe, and Israel – and got it, more than 100,000 documents in all. A few stray comments of his about “Jews” prompted a few concerns on my part, dismissed quickly by another WikiLeaker – “don’t be silly… He’s Jewish himself, isn’t he?”
A short while later, I learned “Adam”’s real identity, or at least the name he most often uses: He was Israel Shamir, a known pro-Kremlin and anti-Semitic writer. He had been photographed leaving the internal ministry of Belarus, and a free speech charity was concerned this meant the country’s dictator had access to the cables and their information on opposition groups in the country.
Assange showed no concern at these allegations, dismissing and ignoring them until the media required a response. Assange simply denied Shamir had ever had access to any documents.
This was untrue, Assange knew it was untrue, and I knew it was untrue — it was me, at Assange’s instructions, who gave them to him.
There are few limits to how far Assange will go to try to control those around him. Those working at WikiLeaks – a radical transparency organisation based on the idea that all power must be accountable – were asked to sign a sweeping nondisclosure agreement covering all conversations, conduct, and material, with Assange having sole power over disclosure. The penalty for noncompliance was £12 million.
I refused to sign the document, which was sprung on me on what was supposed to be a short trip to a country house used by WikiLeaks. The others present – all of whom had signed without reading – then alternately pressured, cajoled, persuaded, charmed and pestered me to sign it, alone and in groups, until well past 4am.
Given how remote the house was, there was no prospect of leaving. I stayed the night, only to be woken very early by Assange, sitting on my bed, prodding me in the face with a stuffed giraffe, immediately once again pressuring me to sign. It was two hours later before I could get Assange off the bed so I could (finally) get some pants on, and many hours more until I managed to leave the house without signing the ridiculous contract. An apologetic staffer present for the farce later admitted they’d been under orders to “psychologically pressure” me until I signed.
Those who have faced the greatest torments are, of course, the two women who accused Assange of sexual offences in Sweden in the summer of 2010. The details of what happened over those few days remain a matter for the Swedish justice system, not speculation, but having seen and heard Assange and those around him discuss the case, having read out the court documents, and having followed the extradition case in the UK all the way to the supreme court, I can say it is a real, complicated sexual assault and rape case. It is no CIA smear, and it relates to Assange’s role at WikiLeaks only in that his work there is how they met.
Nanowire Clothing Offers Warmth, Could Aid In Climate Change Fight
It’s going to be another chilly week for many of us in the northern latitudes. Too bad this metallic-nanowire-embedded cloth isn’t in our gloves and caps yet.
Stanford University scientists developed a process to coat textile fibers with the nanowires, which together form a conductive network throughout the cloth. They say their flexible material, which is composed of silver nanowires and carbon nanotubes, is knit together so closely that the space left between individual strands is shorter than the wavelength of infrared radiation. That means a wearer’s body heat can’t easily pass through the material and gets reflected back to provide warmth.
The empty spaces between nanowires are controlled through the production process to remain between 200 and 300 nanometers. Heat generated by the human body is shed in the form of infrared radiation at a considerably longer wavelength of 9 micrometers. This means that the textile appears like a solid barrier to the radiation. Yet 200 nm holes are big enough to allow water molecules to pass through unobstructed, keeping the fabric breathable and dry.