All-Time High Unemployment: The Economic Depression In Europe Just Keeps Getting Deeper

The unemployment rate in the eurozone is higher than it has ever been before. This week we learned that eurozone unemployment came in at an all-time high of 12.2 percent for September. Back in January 2012, it was sitting at just10.4 percent. So anyone that believes that “things are getting better” in Europe is just being delusional.

In fact, the economic depression in Europe just keeps getting deeper. The funny thing is that the mainstream media will barely call what is going on in Europe a “recession” even though the unemployment rates in both Spain and Greece are now much higher than anything that the United States ever experienced during the “Great Depression” of the 1930s. There haven’t been as many headlines about the financial crisis in Europe lately because the ECB has been papering over the debt problems of the periphery (at least for the moment), but the economic conditions on the ground for average Europeans just continue to get even worse. Later on in this article, you will read about a 25-year-old Spanish man with three college degrees that moved to London in a desperate search for a job who is now cleaning up poop for a living. The economic collapse of Europe continues to march on, and there is no end in sight.

All you have to do is look at the latest unemployment numbers to realize that things are getting worse in Europe.

In Italy, the unemployment rate is up to 12.5 percent.

In January 2012, less than two years ago, it was sitting at just 8.9 percent.

In Greece, the unemployment rate is up to an astounding 27.6 percent.

In January 2012, it was sitting at just 21.4 percent.

In Spain, the unemployment rate is up to 26.6 percent.

In January 2012, it was sitting at just 22.8 percent, and all the way back in January 2008 it was just 8.6 percent.

The youth unemployment statistics in the eurozone are even more horrifying…

Read more at http://investmentwatchblog.com/all-time-high-unemployment-the-economic-depression-in-europe-just-keeps-getting-deeper/#49aYdhyjRJj3mLup.99

F.D.A. Finds 12% of U.S. Spice Imports Contaminated


NEW DELHI — About 12 percent of spices brought to the United States are contaminated with insect parts, whole insects, rodent hairs and other things, according to an analysis of spice imports by federal food authorities.

The finding released on Wednesday by the Food and Drug Administration is part of a comprehensive look at the safety of spice imports that has been years in the making. The federal authorities also found that nearly 7 percent of spice imports examined by federal inspectors were contaminated with salmonella, a toxic bacteria that can cause severe illness in humans.

The shares of imported spices contaminated with insect parts and salmonella were twice those found in other types of imported food, federal food officials said.

The agency’s findings “are a wake-up call” to spice producers, said Jane M. Van Doren, a food and spice official at the F.D.A. “It means: ‘Hey, you haven’t solved the problems.’ ”

The agency called spice contamination “a systemic challenge” and said most of the insects found in spices were the kinds that thrive in warehouses and other storage facilities, suggesting that the industry’s problems result not from poor harvesting practices but poor storage and processing.

John Hallagan, a spokesman for the American Spice Trade Association, said Wednesday that he had not seen the report, so he could not comment on it. But spice manufacturers have argued in the past that food manufacturers often treat imported spices before marketing them, so F.D.A. findings of contamination levels in its import screening program do not mean that spices sold to consumers are dangerous.

F.D.A. inspectors have found that some spices that claim to have been treated are contaminated nonetheless. And the high levels of filth from insects and rodents is a problem that is not easily resolved because, unlike with salmonella contamination, simply cooking or heating the spices will not rid the products of the problem. Insects can also be a source of salmonella contamination.

What share of the nearly 1.2 million annual salmonella illnesses in the United States result from contaminated spices is unclear, officials said. Fewer than 2,000 people had their illnesses definitively tied to contaminated spices from 1973 to 2010, and most people eat spices in small quantities. But people often fail to remember eating spices when asked what foods might have sickened them, so problems related to spices could be seriously underreported, officials said.

Recent legislation in the United States grants the F.D.A. the power to refuse entry of foods that the agency even suspects might be contaminated — strong leverage to demand changes in harvesting, handling and manufacturing practices in foreign countries.

Spice imports from Mexico and India have been found to have the highest rate of contamination. Nearly one-quarter of the spices, oils and food colorings used in the United States comes from India, according to the F.D.A.

The F.D.A. commissioner, Margaret A. Hamburg, had intended to visit India this fall and meet with spice industry officials to discuss the agency’s concerns about spice safety, but the government shutdown delayed her plans, she said. Indian spice officials are offering incentives to get farmers to change some traditional harvest and handling practices that could lead to contamination.

Michael R. Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods at the F.D.A., said that the spice industry needs to clean up poor storage practices, a difficult effort.

“There is no magic wand for any of the problem we’re addressing,” Mr. Taylor said.

A Decade Of Observing Earth From Space Has Given Us These Breathtaking Views [PHOTOS]

The European Space Agency may never have had the glamor of the Apollo missions or space shuttle launches, but they’ve quietly launched some of the most advanced Earth observation satellites around.

The ESA’s Envistat satellite was the largest Earth observation satellite ever built.

Since 2002, it has circled the Earth, collecting invaluable information on our environment and the advancing danger of climate change. Contact with Envistat was suddenly lost in April 2012, but the wealth of information it collected remains.

Every week, the European Space Agency releases a new satellite image taken by Envistat and other Earth-observation satellites launched by ESA and other space agencies. They show incredible places on Earth, from the Sahara Desert to volcanoes in the Congo, in ways we’ve never seen before.

These are the dunes of the Namib Desert, taken by Korea’s Kompstat-2 satellite. The blue and white area is the dried riverbed of the Tsauchab river.

These are the dunes of the Namib Desert, taken by Korea's Kompstat-2 satellite. The blue and white area is the dried riverbed of the Tsauchab river.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/earths-most-breathtaking-vistas-from-space-photos-2013-10?op=1#ixzz2jLW2QBTQ

Giant mirrors reflect winter sun into Norwegian town of Rjukan

Rjukan giant sun mirrors

Residents of the small Norwegian town of Rjukan have finally seen the light.

Tucked in-between steep mountains, the town is normally shrouded in shadow for almost six months a year, with residents having to catch a cable car to the top of a nearby precipice to get a fix of midday vitamin D.

But on Wednesday faint rays from the winter sun for the first time reached the town’s market square, thanks to three giant mirrors placed on a mountain.

Cheering families, some on sun loungers, drinking cocktails and waving Norwegian flags, donned shades as the sun crept from behind a cloud to hit the mirrors and reflect down onto the faces of delighted children below.

TV footage of the event showed the centre of the crowded square light up a touch, but not as if hit by direct sunlight. Still, residents said the effect was noticeable.

“Before when it was a fine day, you would see that the sky was blue and you knew that the sun was shining. But you couldn’t quite see it. It was very frustrating,” said Karin Roe, from the local tourist office. “This feels warm. When there is no time to get to the top of the mountains on weekdays, it will be lovely to come out for an hour and feel this warmth on my face.”

Like much of Scandinavia, Rjukan often is freezing throughout the winter, but on Wednesday it was 7 C.

The Italian town of Viganella has a similar, but smaller, sun mirror.

The plan to illuminate Rjukan was cooked up 100 years ago by the Norwegian industrialist Sam Eyde, who built the town to provide workers for a hydroelectric plant he located at the foot of a nearby waterfall.

The renowned engineer never saw his plan become reality, but his plant and the Telemark town he founded developed a special affection in the Norwegian imagination as the site of the country’s most famous wartime escapade.

Occupied by the Germans during the second world war, the factory was a staging post in Hitler’s quest for the atomic bomb. The story of how 12 Norwegian saboteurs parachuted into the nearby tundra and survived freezing temperatures to destroy the factory’s “heavy water” plant inspired a 1965 Hollywood film, The Heroes of Telemark, and is being turned into a 10-part TV series by Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle.

In contrast to the shadow cast over Europe by Hitler’s plan for an atomic weapon, the three mirrors, measuring 183-sq ft (17-sq m) and ironically being remotely controlled from Germany, captured the sunlight and sent it in an ellipse that illuminated about one-third of the square below.

A band encouraged a cloud that weakened the effect to move away with the song, Let The Sunshine In…

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/30/giant-mirrors-first-winter-sun-norway-rjukan

New NASA Map Shows Where You Are Most Likely To Die From Air Pollution

air pollution global premature deaths map NASA key

Each year millions of premature deaths world-wide result from various forms of air pollution. According to a new atmospheric pollution model designed by earth scientist Jason West of the University of North Carolina (data from which informs the NASA map shown above), some 2.1 million deaths per year result from just one particular form of atmospheric pollution: fine particulate matter, or PM2.5, which is emitted in car exhaust and smokestack effluent (and other industrial, domestic and natural sources).

In general, these polluting particles in the atmosphere are referred to as aerosols (a mixture of particulate matter and air). Aerosols can take the form of suspended particulate matter (SPM), respirable suspended particles (RSP), which are particles with a diameter of 10 micrometers (microns) or less, and, the aforementioned fine PM2.5…the ’2.5′ refers to particles of 2.5 microns or less and may include ultrafine particles, and some forms of soot (such as black carbon soot from cooking stoves and biomass burning).

Sometimes transient, natural, meteorological conditions combine with human pollution, resulting in “extreme outbreaks of air pollution.” For example, in January, 2013, a blanket of industrial pollution enveloped northeastern China, and, in June, 2013, smoke from agricultural fires in Sumatra engulfed Singapore.
Health researchers have linked PM2.5 with everything from asthma to lung disease, and even heart attacks (perhaps caused from the stress of not getting sufficient oxygen into the lungs). But the longer-term impacts of this form of pollution can be far more insidious. According to NASA’s Earth Observatory website:

‘In most cases, the most toxic pollution lingers for a few days or even weeks, bringing increases in respiratory and cardiac health problems at hospitals. Eventually the weather breaks, the air clears, and memories of foul air begin to fade. But that’s not to say that the health risks disappear as well. Even slightly elevated levels of air pollution can have a significant effect on human health. Over long periods and on a global scale, such impacts can add up.’

The map shows regions around the globe with significant numbers of annual deaths due to particulate pollution. The darker the coloration the greater the death rates, with the darkest coloration indicating death rates as high as 1,000 deaths per 1,000 square kilometers.

One can easily identify vast regions in Central/Eastern Europe, Southern and Northern India, South/Southeast Asia, and most of Japan as having the darkest coloration. These areas typically include highly populated, extensively urbanized areas.

Areas colored blue (Southern US, mid South America) represent more positive trends where reductions in smog and other particulate pollution (mostly from agricultural burning) have been dramatically reduced since the 1850′s. Sadly, there are very few such regions, globally speaking, perhaps due to the lack of air quality laws.

This newest model by West et al combines 6 different atmospheric models into one — a major improvement over their 2010 estimate that relied on just one model (which included premature mortality estimates from ozone and PM 2.5 pollution). The pollution models used to inform this map include historical data going back 160 years — to the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution.

The details of their premature mortality estimation (for the 2.1 million deaths cited) can be found in their March, 2013 paper ‘Global premature mortality due to anthropogenic outdoor air pollution and the contribution of past climate change‘ published in Environmental Research Letters.

Read more at http://planetsave.com/2013/09/22/new-nasa-map-shows-likely-die-air-pollution/#0kMZxJ3pRaJORh3B.99

Where Did the Maya Go?

Well, there certainly is an awful lot going on just now, isn’t there? Paradigms and belief systems are being crushed beneath the weight of the indifferent corruption which they spawned, as a gnarly case of reality cramps sets in among the masses across the planet.

The planning of future wars while still mired down in the ones of our own making appeals to fewer people by the day, and thus the awakening surges like a tsunami across a planet in the throes of transformation, between Scylla and Charybdis, as it were.

Eroded by built in corruption, the mighty capitalist empire falls in upon itself now as the law of unforeseen consequences plays merry hob with the gatekeepers ability to keep it all together. Humpty Dumpty.

Simultaneously with those preparing for Armageddon & a side order of apocalypse; there are those who are preparing for something altogether different, something transcendent they have been waiting their entire lives for, which is now at hand as we at last pass out of the Kali Yuga and into the gates of Aquarius.

How very interesting and convenient it is to have all of this happening just as the renowned Mayan calendar ends one Baktun and begins another. It rather makes sense.

Where we are today reminds me a whole lot of the fall of the Mayan empire, as they too fell to the combined foes of conspicuous over consumption of finite resources, war, drought, disease, and overpopulation.

Yes, the Maya were masters of time, and certainly architecture, as what they built and maintained for 2000 years was more advanced than the Babylonians or even the Egyptians. Still more impressive is that they did all of it without the benefit of metal tools, the wheel or even pack animals.

Like us, they were also an aggressive and bloodthirsty lot given to wholesale human sacrifice, which included children painted with Maya Blue pigment and sacrificed to the water god by being thrown into the Cenote, a natural forming limestone sinkhole holding ground water.

That they also used the same source for drinking water was no doubt a contributing influence to their eventual downfall…which brings me to my question for today…

Where Did the Maya Go ?

In the modern day state of Chiapas, Mexico at the site of the ancient Maya city of Palenque, stands the largest known Mesoamerican stepped pyramid. It’s called the Temple of Inscriptions and is a funeral monument for King K’inich Janaab Pakal, who ruled the great Maya empire from age twelve for nearly seventy years.

Pakal was responsible for much of the construction and expansion of Palenque, as well as the empire and in the fullness of time, was deified. As was the general custom of Mayan rulers, it was a very big thing to be able to trace one’s linage directly back to the ancestors from which they sprang forth…the sky people…so it’s no great surprise they said that King Pakal communicated with the ancestors.

http://sorendreier.com/where-did-the-maya-go/

How Brain Cells Are Like Little Universes

(Shutterstock*)

The structures of the universe and the human brain are strikingly similar.

In the Eastern spiritual discipline of Daoism, the human body has long been viewed as a small universe, as a microcosm. As billion-dollar investments are made in the United States and Europe to research brain functioning, the correlations between the brain and the universe continue to emerge.

The two pictures below illustrate the similarities. The top picture shows the neural network of a brain cell; the bottom picture shows the distribution of dark matter in the universe as simulated by Millennium Simulation.

The pictures show a structural similarity in terms of connections and distribution of matter in the brain and in the universe. The photo on the left is a microscopic view, the one on the right is a macroscopic view.

The brain is like a microcosm.

A study conducted by Dmitri Krioukov of the University of California and a team of researchers published in Nature last year shows striking similarities between neural networks in the brain and network connections between galaxies.

Krioukov’s team created a computer simulation that broke the known universe down into tiny, subatomic units of space-time, explained Live Science. The simulation added more space-time units as the history of the universe progressed. The developing interactions between matter in galaxies was similar to the interactions that comprise neural networks in the human brain.

Physicist Kevin Bassler of the University of Houston, who was not involved in the study, told Live Science that the study suggests a fundamental law governing these networks.

In May 2011, Seyed Hadi Anjamrooz of the Kerman University of Medical Sciences and other Iranian medical scientists published an article in the International Journal of the Physical Sciences on the similarities between cells and the universe.

They explain that a black hole resembles the cell nucleus. A black hole’s event horizon—a sort of point of no return where the gravitational pull will suck objects into the black hole—also resembles the nuclear membrane.

The event horizon is double-layered, as is the nuclear membrane. Much like the event horizon, which prevents anything that enters from leaving, the nuclear membrane separates cell fluids, preventing mixing, and regulates the exchange of matter between the inside and outside of the nucleus. Black holes and living cells also both emit pockets of electromagnetic radiation, among other similarities.

The researchers wrote: “Nearly all that exists in the macrouniverse is mirrored in a biological cell as a microuniverse. Simply put, the universe can be pictured as a cell.”

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/334200-how-brain-cells-are-like-little-universes/