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Bizzare & Odd

Man-made super-flu could kill half humanity

A virus with the potential to kill up to half the worlds population has been made in a lab. Now academics and bioterrorism experts are arguing over whether to publish the recipe, and whether the research should have been done in the first place.
The virus is an H5N1 bird flu strain which was genetically altered to become much more contagious. It was created by Ron Fouchier of the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, who first presented his work to the public at an influenza conference in Malta in September.
Fouchier said the strain circulates in animals, particularly birds, but rarely affects humans.

In the ten or so years since bird flu first emerged in Asia, fewer than 600 cases have been reported in humans. But the H5N1 strain is particularly vicious, killing roughly half of patients diagnosed with it. What stops it from becoming a major threat to public health is that it does not readily transmit from human to human. Or at least it didnt until now.
Researchers in Fouchiers team used ferrets test animals which closely mimic the human response to influenza and transmitted H5N1 from one to another to make it more adaptable to new hosts. After 10 generations, the virus had mutated to become airborne, which means ferrets became ill from merely being near other diseased animals.
A genetic study showed that the new, dangerous strain had only five mutations compared to the original one, and all of them were earlier seen in the natural environment just not all at once. Fouchiers strain is as contagious as the human seasonal flu, which kills tens of thousands of people each year, but is likely to cause many more fatalities if released.
“I can’t think of another pathogenic organism that is as scary as this one,” Paul Keim, a microbial geneticist who has worked on anthrax for many years, told Science Insider. “I don’t think anthrax is scary at all compared to this.”
Now Keim, who chairs the US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), and other members of the body, have a very difficult decision to make. Fouchier wants his study to be published. So does virologist Yoshihiro Kawaoka, who led similar research in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the University of Tokyo, and reached comparable results. And it is up to NSABB to give them the green light.
Many academics and biosecurity experts are naturally cautious about releasing information which could provide any bioterrorist with a ready recipe to hold the world to ransom. Some argue that such work should never have been done in the first place and call for international monitoring of potentially harmful research.
“It’s just a bad idea for scientists to turn a lethal virus into a lethal and highly contagious virus. And it’s a second bad idea for them to publish how they did it so others can copy it,” believes Dr. Thomas Inglesby, a bioterrorism expert and director of the Center for Biosecurity of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
However the very same data, if made available to the scientific community, could potentially allow humanity to prepare for an H5N1 pandemic, which Fouchiers study has shown to be far more probable than was previously believed. Clamping down on freedom of information in the scientific domain may in the end leave us defenseless against the flu, should it arise naturally.
NSABB plans to issue a public statement soon, says Keim, and is likely to issue additional recommendations about this type of research. “We’ll have a lot to say,” he says.

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Bizzare & Odd

Did A 1988 Economist Magazine Predict A Bitcoin Explosion In 2018?

A 1988 cover story for The Economist shows a picture of a Phoenix, with a coin that resembles the look of today’s most popular crypto currency, Bitcoin.

What’s even more intriguing about the picture is the fact that the year on the coin reads 2018. It’s also interesting to note that the article is discussing a completely new type of currency, a global currency, one that emerges from the ashes of cash. How ironic is it that?
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency are now at the forefront of many peoples minds, a response to the current financial “ways” of the world. It promises to solve many of the damning challenges of fiat currency and the public enslavement  that comes from the way our money currently works.

Currency has always been, not just in my opinion but based on what we see in society, a means to control the human race. It has also been used as a tool to further widen the wealth gap, putting most of the resources in the hands of the “1 percent.”Will a new form of currency truly begin to solve those issues? Perhaps. This could be the stepping stone in eventually living in a world without currency at all.

The 1988 Economist article was likely echoing the financial elite’s desire for a one world government, or a new world order. This wouldn’t be beneficial for humanity as a whole. But Bitcoin represents something different it seems.

 

“This is a fantastic fundamental hedge and store value against autocratic regimes and banking infrastructure that we know is corrosive to how the world needs to work properly. You cannot have Central Banks infinitely printing currency, you cannot have folks with misguided and misdirected monetary and fiscal policy…It’s a con game.” – Chamath Palihapitiya (source)

And another great quote:

“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, before if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning. – Henry Ford

Technology Behind Crypto

Blockchain technology is the genius behind Bitcoin, and its very design is what excites many people. It is likely what has skyrocketed Bitcoin’s popularity. With this technology, all records and transactions are stored publicly so there is a public and transparent ledger for every coin and transaction. And it’s not limited to just currency, it also stores data, information and ownership records. There are also blockchains that focus more on privacy as well, for those concerned with that.

Ultimately, the potential for cryptocurrency to disrupt modern day banking is huge. Christine Lagarde, the head of the IMF, has cautioned that cryptocurrencies can displace central banks, and conventional banking in the long term. While this sounds like an issue, its not. This would be the best thing for our economy and humanity as it will stop a private company, central banks, from controlling the entire money supply.

There has also been no shortage of responses from multiple countries and heads of financial institutions like JP Morgan about cryptocurrencies. JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon has referred to bitcoin as a “fraud,” even though he believes in the blockchain.

The debates are endless, with, for the most part, the mainstream encouraging the public to stay away from Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general. It’s claimed that they are not real, have no implications, and are not backed by anything.While this is true to some extent, most people don’t realize that fiat currency, all currencies we use today, are in the same position. They are made up, backed by nothing and are controlled by private companies who control it.Any currency has to have the support of the people for them to work. If people do not put power into them, they have no value. So whether you look at cryptocurrencies or any other, it comes down to faith from mass adoption.

Most People Don’t Realize How Money Works Today

The fact of the matter remains, a small group of people who sit behind our entire global financial system are threatened by bitcoin. Their control, their power, their corruption, and more, is all threatened by cryptocurrency, and as a result, we’re probably going to continue to hear the slandering of Bitcoin and alt coins, in an attempt to steer the global collective mind away from it. But what’s coming can’t be stopped. We’re experiencing revolutions in all aspects of the human experience, from health, and now, in finance.

It’s long overdue that we change the way we do things here, and cryptocurrency could be part of that solution. It represents something far greater than money, value and wealth, which is why it’s so great.

“Bitcoin is money outside of government, controlled by the people who become their own sovereignty. Bitcoin will do the nation-state what the printing press did to the church…The use-case as stateless money drives adoption because it’s universally appealing and fills a void every human being feels in their soul: to be free.”  – Max Kieser (source)

Blockchain-based cryptocurrencies severely disrupt the modern day banking foundation by decentralizing the operation of the financial system outside of the control of sovereign states and the global elite’s power.

It’s a big topic, and I’m not going to get into whether or not the price will rise or fall as this isn’t really about making money and being rich. As the founder of Ethereum, the second most popular cryptocurrency, was quick to remind people not long ago:

“All crypto communities, ethereum included, should heed these of warning. Need to differentiate between getting hundreds of billions of dollars of digital paper wealth sloshing around and actually achieving something meaningful for society…If all that we accomplish is lambo memes and immature puns about “sharting” then I WILL leave.”  (source)

Cryptocurrencies also have huge political implications. For example, Russia recently announced its intentions to create a cryptocurrency so they can avoid Western sanctions and economic influence.

Putin has long been outspoken about the global financial elite and their ability to force others into their own will, politically and economically. This was his sentiment when speaking about the “imaginary” and “mythical” threats they use to justify their actions.

He began his speech by arguing that the oligarchic ‘1 percent’ that dominate our world “abandoned substantive and equal dialogue with other actors in international life, chose not to improve or create universal institutions, and attempted instead to bring the entire world under the spread of their own organisations, norms and rules. They chose the road of globalisation and security for their own beloved selves, for the select few, and not for all.”

You can read more about that here.

Cryptocurrency also represents the potential for a massive redistribution of wealth, as central banks in developing countries have plans to ‘get in’ in on it.

We wanted to dive deeper into blockchain and cryptocurrency in a podcast episode so we could explore the tough questions behind crypto and where it’s headed. Host Joe Martino sat down with Angelo Dodaro of Adbank to chat about cryptocurrency and blockchain

 

Is This A Solution? A Step In The Right Direction? Is A Currency Even Needed?

At Collective Evolution, from the very beginning, we’ve always encouraged and created discussions around a society we all know is possible. One where we transcend the limits of the human ego, separation, suffering and a ruling elite -this would include the need for currency.

Is this possible? Well, we’ve been engrained and have experienced the system of trading monies for goods and services for a long time. We created supply, demand, scarcity and currency, and thus we can uncreate it at any time. Sure it will require a shift in consciousness, but it is possible.

The idea that one has to spend most of their lives, working for the entire day, 5 days a week, to simply put food on the table and provide a roof over ones head is not necessary. How does it feel for you to live in a world like that? Regardless of what you feel is possible, is this what you want for the world? This will not mean people will never work, but should it be what we’re enslaved by to survive?

Personally, I envision societies, more consciously advanced than humans, who have transcended the need for money, and have figured out a way to provide for everybody’s needs in a way that free’s them from economic slavery. I believe this is where humanity is heading.

Going into the details is a topic for another article, but the point is, humanity is full of infinite potential, we already have the means and the technology to completely liberate the human experience and change it for the better.

“We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.” 
― R. Buckminster Fuller

Today, everything seems to be about the money, and making money. That appears to be the primary goal of major corporations and the majority of individuals. That being said, it is something we are forced into, and currently, money is a tool for exchange. But it’s not needed, and places tremendous amounts of limitations on our ability to change the world.

We’re constantly bombarded with what to do, how to live, what to think and what to strive for. Imagine a moneyless society, one that was free from the constraints of having to earn paper and metal to live. Imagine if we were free from our current constraints? What would we do? I believe it would provide humanity with the opportunity to grow, discover, and learn. We’d probably become a space baring race much faster.

It seems with our current human experience, we’ve become stuck in a cycle of repetition while we let our world burn. This is the reality that more and more people on the planet are realizing and as a result, on a collective level we are manifesting change, in several different ways.

Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology may be a start, from a financial perspective, but ultimately, I see humanity moving passed the need for any type of currency at all.

With our potential and level of technological development, anything is possible, all that’s really required is a shift in consciousness. Perhaps a governments or leadership who actually cares about, and has the best interests of the people as priority number 1.

Poverty, war, greed, economic slavery, and corruption are not uncontrollable challenges. It many cases, they are challenges which are created and perpetuated for reasons of greed, power and human ego.

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Bizzare & Odd

Here Are The Most Outrageous Food Trends Of 2017

Another year has come and gone, but 2017 is leaving behind a legacy of super weird food, beauty, and fashion trends. We compiled a list of the most colorful, crazy, and just plain weird food trends of 2017. Keep reading and let us know if you tried any of these trends this year 🙂

1. Charcoal EVERYTHING

2017 was the definitely the year of charcoal! From ice cream to bagels, charcoal was popping up everywhere on the food scene. Many people believed that the charcoal made the food more healthy, but scientists say that there are very few benefits to eating charcoal in food. But it sure does look great in an Instagram photo!

2. Pastel And Colorful “Unicorn” Food

You might remember the insanity this past summer when Starbucks released a limited edition Unicorn Frappucino. Kids and adults were lining up to get their hands on this colorful, sweet concoction. This was just the beginning of the unicorn food craze this year, which took the internet by storm. But does it taste as good as it looks?

3. Smoothie Bowls

Carefully arranged smoothie bowls were clogging people’s Instagram feeds this past summer. The colorful bowls of vitamin-rich smoothies topped with an assortment of fruits and nuts were a complete craze, and thankfully so! Smoothie bowls are definitely one of the most healthy of the food trends in 2017, and we’re predicting they’ll continue to be a hit in 2018!

4. Cloud Eggs

People started experimenting with new ways to spruce up their eggs and created puffy, wondrous “cloud eggs.” They are standard baked eggs, but the whites are whipped into a meringue to give it a cloud effect when cooked. This dish became extremely popular among health nuts, since they’re not only easy on the calories (only 161 per serving!) but they also look great in photos 😉

5. Raindrop Cakes

This aesthetically pleasing Japanese treat has become a popular dessert in the West. The vegan jelly dessert consists simply of agar, spring water, black sugar and kinako, but the process to make them is quite difficult. But don’t expect a flavorful dessert when you first bite into one; many people say they are tasteless and just serve as a light, after dinner treat.

6. Turmeric Latte

If you love spiced drinks, then you’ll love this colorful and wacky turmeric latte. The bright yellow drink is full of powerful antioxidants, but we just can’t get past the idea of turmeric as a LATTE. Would you try it?

7. FREAK SHAKES

Freak Shakes definitely take the cake for the most INSANE food of 2017! These towering pillars of sweets and ice cream were dropping jaws everywhere during the summer, and continue to be a craze. We can’t even imagine the sugar rush you get after finishing one of these impressive desserts!

Those are the craziest and weirdest foods trends of 2017! How many of them have you tried?

Source

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Bizzare & Odd

Artist’s Work Goes Viral After Censorship Of His Psychedelic Sex Art

By  Amanda Froelich Truth Theory

I am, you are, we are, one. That is a truth of the universe, and it becomes quite clear as one experiments with psychedelics — or, spends long amounts of time in silent meditation.

Everything from LSD to peyote to marijuana to Ayahuasca can be considered a psychedelic. As the Drug Policy Alliance explains, these substances have been used for thousands of years. Most often, they play a role in religious and therapeutic purposes.

The idea that certain plants and fungi can contribute to cohesion within the mind, body, and spirit and, as a result, produce healing effects is an unpopular one. This is because, the modern world takes a rigid stance against freedom of thought and, consequently, the use of mind-altering substances.

To be clear, there are risks to consuming psychedelic drugs. However, most are minute, which is why in recent years, scientists (specifically, with John Hopkins University) have begun to study the illegal substances. What they’ve found is phenomenal — and their research has just started.

In one study, the researchers concluded that a hallucinogenic drug found in “magic mushrooms” eases depression and anxiety in people with life-threatening cancer. Another study suggests the fungi could be a “promising” treatment for people with PTSD and anxiety. And, earlier this year, a study was published concluding that psilocybin is the safest psychedelic to experiment with recreationally.

Essentially, what we are learning  is that psychedelic substances are not as bad the mainstream media and federal government have made them out to be. While more research needs to be conducted on the safest ways to consume and use them, it seems clear the taboo that surrounds the use of mind-altering substances needs to lessen.

On that topic, an artist who hid his true identity for years, simply because the world wasn’t ready for his imaginative mind, recently went “viral.” It all started when Facebook banned the artist’s work which he had been uploading to social media networks under the alias Phazed. That artist, who has now revealed his identity, is Jean Francois Painchaud.

Up until a couple of weeks ago, Painchaud was working on the PBS kids show Wild Kratts during the day. In the evenings, he would create GIFS which explore the unification which occurs during conscious sex. He was having trouble sharing his artwork, however, because the topic of sex — and images of the naked human body — are censored.

Painchaud disclosed during an interview: “Soon after I started posting my art online, I found out that there are people out there who are very sensitive when it comes to the female body. No matter how much I censor my work, I still get reported. It’s ridiculous. So, whenever they take down my art or censor me, I make a big deal out of it, hoping that we might be able to change this culture of incessant censoring over time.” 

Fortunately, being banned turned out to be one of the best things that could have happened for his career. In just a few weeks, the artist has welcomed more than 45,000 new followers to his Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook accounts.

When asked how “magic mushrooms” affect his work, Painchaud responded: “Mushrooms didn’t only help my art develop; they changed my entire life. Using mushrooms helped me overcome my depression, my insecurities and my anxiety. Most of that anxiety came from negative experiences with my father and being bullied at school.”

The artist added: “Before I found shrooms, I was making art to improve my skills. It was as if I was trying to impress myself or show off. But what’s the point of sharpening your tools, if you’re never going to build something of your own?”

The exploration of sex — especially through art — might make some people uncomfortable, but Painchaud finds the combination of sex and psychedelics to be “very beautiful and inspiring.” He said, “I feel that both psychedelics and sex can help you transcend your ego and tap into a purer state of being – of living in the moment.”

At first glance, the GIFs do seem slightly pornographic. However, the colors are a contrast to traditional porn, which tends to objectify women — and, to an extent, men — through bland, pale colors and regurgitated scripts.

Painchaud’s artwork, on the other hand, has a central theme: connection. The “energy” which is conveyed through color flows through nearly every scene and connects those who have agreed to share their bodies and hearts. The unions which are portrayed are holy in their own, unique way, and the color, shapes, and vibrancy confirm this.

Learn more: Facebook / Tumblr

Support the artist on Patreaon

 

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