Tag Archives: summer

Not All Fruits and Veggies Are Eczema-Friendly (The 4 …

Posted: January 4, 2017 at 5:47 pm

Not all fruits and veggies are good the eczema body.

Eat more fruits and veggies because they are super healthy!

You need vitamins from fruits and fiber from veggies!

As cliches go, it sounds like these plant foods are mandatory in our lives or else we will die, or at least, be in poor health.

However, speaking in the perspective of an eczema sufferer, not all fruits and vegetables are created equal not all of them are eczema-friendly.

As an eczema sufferer, we need to avoid certain fruits and veggies.

In this article, Ill list them out and explain why, even though plant foods are nutritious and beneficial in many ways, they are disadvantageous to eczema patients overall.

This article is not designed to defame fruits and vegetables. Fruits and veggies are indeed high in different types of nutritional values and are extremely good for the human body, but not every body responds the same way, so each individual needs to adapt to his/her body needs.

When I mean certain plants are NOT friendly to eczema sufferers, its just the consequences of eating them to an eczema body overrides the nutritional benefits of eating them.

In essence, we need to find out our bodys list of accepted foods and also, to avoid specifically to eczema-unfriendly plant foods.

Nightshades is the family of foods: potatoes (but not sweet potatoes and I highly encourage you to eat them regularly), tomatoes, tobacco, red and green peppers, paprika, eggplants (these are the common ones).

Nightshades naturally contain a group of chemicals called alkaloids.

Plants produce alkaloids as a regular part of their biochemical activity, and these alkaloids are primarily designed to help protect the plants from insects that would otherwise eat them.

And these plant protective mechanisms when ingested just hinder our recovery. For a meaty explanation, read this article.

Some of these foods may be a staple food in your diet, but you can always find substitutes. For nightshades, you can switch for:

Sarah, who runs Vegetalion, with nightshade allergies, wrote four great articles on finding alternatives:

A common problem today is that many people consume way too much sugar.

But assuming that you have no intake of any man-made snacks and drinks. It is still possible to consume a lot of sugar with natural foods.

Vegetables are not a problem, the highest sugar content of veggies are potatoes (which you dont have to care), carrots and beets. But the sugar content of veggies is too low for you to need to reduce intake. So dont worry too much about this.

The reason why sugar intake needs to be limited is because the more sugar you ingest, the more food you give to harmful micro-organisms to feed on in your gut. Yeasts, especially, live on sugar.

As for fruits, avoid these high sugary fruits: tangerines, oranges, cherries, grapes, pomegranates, mangoes, guavas, lychees, figs, bananas and especially dried fruit.

Instead, choose low sugar fruits: lemon, lime, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, papayas, watermelon and most others are okay. Just avoid the ones mentioned above.

For a more details, go check out Fruits And Vegetable : List of Low and High Sugar Fruit and Vegetable.

The Dirty Dozen is the official term coined by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) that refers to the annual top 12 plants contaminated most heavily by pesticides.

Dirty Dozen: top 12 most contaminated plants are:

New extras: Kale/collard greens and Summer squash.

Clean 15: the top 15 least likely to be contaminated are:

Check out the EWGs 2013 Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce for the official lists.

The reason why Im telling you this is to warn you that when you consume one of the Dirty Dozen (you dont have to completely avoid it), you should cook it long enough, soak it in water overnight, or even peel off the skin to eliminate the residue of pesticides, so you dont end up suffering from the chemicals more than the nutrients you get from the food.

Acidifying refer to foods that leave an acidifying effect in the body after digestion, not its pH value upon tasting.

For a person with eczema, we should aim for a 80-20 balance where 80% of our food is alkalizing and 20% acidifying. Essentially, that means mainly veggies and less meats.

You should be aware that many fruits are actually acidifying. Fruits are great but shouldnt be consumed in mass.

Common strongly acidifying foods include:

Instead, indulge yourself in strongly alkalizing foods:

There are other categories: acidifying, alkalizing, strongly alkalizing; this is only a small list.

Read more on Acid-Alkaline Food Charts (also usable as a grocery shopping list).

You now know what NOT to eat, so what should you be eating?

Here are 10 choices that are highly specifically beneficial to improve skin conditions:

Sweet potatoes are one of the best foods in the world. I eat several daily.

Fermented foods.

Fruits are not normally fermented veggies are the main target e.g. kimchi, pickled veggies, sauerkraut and more. Any plants can be fermented.

Fermented foods are extremely good for people with eczema because fermented foods contain live cultures beneficial micro-organisms that help digestion and the removal of toxins in the gut, which is crucial for healing up eczema.

Ive personally made my own kimchi before, and wrote a guide about it, added with other fermentation resources.

Check it out: How To Make Fermented Kimchi (For Fresh Gut Bacteria)

In brevity, avoid the four evil categories as mentioned above:

Again, if a particular fruit or vegetable gives you a sensitivity, you know what not to eat. This differs with everyone. For me, I have a sensitivity to papayas, green capsicums and kiwis (as far as I know) the skin area my mouth turns red.

Originally posted here:
Not All Fruits and Veggies Are Eczema-Friendly (The 4 …

Posted in Eczema | Comments Off on Not All Fruits and Veggies Are Eczema-Friendly (The 4 …

Commune – Wikipedia

Posted: December 27, 2016 at 6:09 pm

Not to be confused with comune.

A commune (the French word appearing in the 12th century from Medieval Latin communia, meaning a large gathering of people sharing a common life; from Latin communis, things held in common)[1] is an intentional community of people living together, sharing common interests, often having common values and beliefs, as well as shared property, possessions, resources, and, in some communes, work and income and assets. In addition to the communal economy, consensus decision-making, non-hierarchical structures and ecological living have become important core principles for many communes. Andrew Jacobs of The New York Times wrote that, contrary to popular misconceptions, “most communes of the ’90s are not free-love refuges for flower children, but well-ordered, financially solvent cooperatives where pragmatics, not psychedelics, rule the day.”[2] There are many contemporary intentional communities all over the world, a list of which can be found at the Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC).[3]

For the usually larger-scale, political entities in communist political theory, see socialist communes, which are similar but distinct social organizations.

Benjamin Zablocki categorized communities this way:[4]

Of course, many communal ventures encompass more than one of these categorizations.

Some communes, such as the ashrams of the Vedanta Society or the Theosophical commune Lomaland, formed around spiritual leaders, while others formed around political ideologies. For others, the “glue” is simply the desire for a more shared, sociable lifestyle. Moreover, some people find it is more economical to live communally.[citation needed]

The central characteristics of communes, or core principles that define communes, have been expressed in various forms over the years. Before 1840 such communities were known as “communist and socialist settlements”; by 1860, they were also called “communitarian” and by around 1920 the term “intentional community”[citation needed] had been added to the vernacular of some theorists.[5]

At the start of the 1970s, “The New Communes” author Ron E. Roberts classified communes as a subclass of a larger category of Utopias. He listed three main characteristics. Communes of this period tended to develop their own characteristics of theory though, so while many strived for variously expressed forms of egalitarianism Roberts’ list should never be read as typical. Additionally, the items listed by Roberts were the subject of general pop-theory discourse before and during his time and rather than being particular to communes indicate a wider international political discussion about post industrial societal structures and order. Roberts’ three listed items were: first, egalitarianism that communes specifically rejected hierarchy or graduations of social status as being necessary to social order. Second, human scale that members of some communes saw the scale of society as it was then organised as being too industrialized (or factory sized) and therefore unsympathetic to human dimensions. And third, that communes were consciously anti-bureaucratic.

Twenty five years later, Dr. Bill Metcalf, in his edited book “Shared Visions, Shared Lives” defined communes as having the following core principles: the importance of the group as opposed to the nuclear family unit, a “common purse”, a collective household, group decision making in general and intimate affairs. Sharing everyday life and facilities, a commune is an idealized form of family, being a new sort of “primary group” (generally with fewer than 20 people although again there are outstanding examples of much larger communes or communes that experienced episodes with much larger populations). Commune members have emotional bonds to the whole group rather than to any sub-group, and the commune is experienced with emotions which go beyond just social collectivity.

With the simple definition of a commune as an intentional community with 100% income sharing, the online directory of the Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC)[3] lists 186 communes worldwide (17 August 2011).[8] Some of these are religious institutions such as abbeys and monasteries. Others are based in anthroposophic philosophy, including Camphill villages that provide support for the education, employment, and daily lives of adults and children with developmental disabilities, mental health problems or other special needs.[9] Many communes are part of the New Age movement.

Many cultures naturally practice communal or tribal living, and would not designate their way of life as a planned ‘commune’ per se, though their living situation may have many characteristics of a commune.

In Germany, a large number of the intentional communities define themselves as communes and there is a network of political communes called “Kommuja”[10] with about 30 member groups (May 2009). Germany has a long tradition of intentional communities going back to the groups inspired by the principles of Lebensreform in the 19th century. Later, about 100 intentional communities were started in the Weimar Republic after World War I, many had a communal economy. In the 1960s, there was a resurgence of communities calling themselves communes, starting with the Kommune 1 in Berlin, followed by Kommune 2 (also Berlin) and Kommune 3 in Wolfsburg.

In the German commune book, Das KommuneBuch, communes are defined by Elisabeth Vo as communities which:

Kibbutzim in Israel, (sing., kibbutz) are examples of officially organized communes, the first of which were based on agriculture. Today, there are dozens of urban communes growing in the cities of Israel, often called urban kibbutzim. The urban kibbutzim are smaller and more anarchist.[12] Most of the urban communes in Israel emphasize social change, education, and local involvement in the cities where they live. Some of the urban communes have members who are graduates of zionist-socialist youth movements, like HaNoar HaOved VeHaLomed, HaMahanot HaOlim and Hashomer Hatsair.[13]

In 1831 John Vandeleur (a landlord) established a commune on his Ralahine Estate at Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co. Clare. Vandeleur asked Edward Thomas Craig, an English socialist, to formulate rules and regulations for the commune. It was set up with a population of 22 adult single men, 7 married men and their 7 wives, 5 single women, 4 orphan boys and 5 children under the age of 9 years. No money was employed, only credit notes which could be used in the commune shop. All occupants were committed to a life with no alcohol, tobacco, snuff or gambling. All were required to work for 12 hours a day during the summer and from dawn to dusk in winter. The social experiment prospered for a time and 29 new members joined. However, in 1833 the experiment collapsed due to the gambling debts of John Vandeleur. The members of the commune met for the last time on 23 November 1833 and placed on record a declaration of the contentment, peace and happiness they had experienced for two years under the arrangements introduced by Mr. Vandeleur and Mr. Craig and which through no fault of the Association was now at an end.[14]

In imperial Russia, the vast majority of Russian peasants held their land in communal ownership within a mir community, which acted as a village government and a cooperative.{{[15]; [16]}} The very widespread and influential pre-Soviet Russian tradition of Monastic communities of both sexes could also be considered a form of communal living. After the end of Communism in Russia monastic communities have again become more common, populous and, to a lesser degree, more influential in Russian society. Various patterns of Russian behavior — toloka (), pomochi (), artel’ () — are also based on Communal (“”) traditions.

A nineteenth century advocate and practitioner of communal living was the utopian socialist John Goodwyn Barmby, who founded a Communist Church before becoming a Unitarian minister.[17] The UK today has several communes or intentional communities, increasing since the New Towns Act 1946 to recuperate a lost sense of community at the centralization of population in Post-War New Towns such as Crawley or Corby.

The Simon Community in London is an example of social cooperation, made to ease homelessness within London. It provides food and religion and is staffed by homeless people and volunteers. Mildly nomadic, they run street “cafs” which distribute food to their known members and to the general public.

In Glandwr, near Crymych, Pembrokeshire, a co-op called Lammas Ecovillage focuses on planning and sustainable development. Granted planning permission by the Welsh Government in 2009, it has since created 9 holdings and is a central communal hub for its community.[19]

In Scotland, the Findhorn Foundation founded by Peter and Eileen Caddy and Dorothy Maclean in 1962[20] is prominent for its educational centre and experimental architectural community project based at The Park, in Moray, Scotland, near the village of Findhorn.[21]

The Findhorn Ecovillage community at The Park, Findhorn, a village in Moray, Scotland, and at Cluny Hill in Forres, now houses more than 400 people.[22]

Although communes are most frequently associated with the hippie movementthe “back-to-the-land” ventures of the 1960s and 1970sthere is a long history of communes in America (see this short discussion of Utopian communities).[23]Andrew Jacobs of The New York Times wrote that “after decades of contraction, the American commune movement has been expanding since the mid-1990s, spurred by the growth of settlements that seek to marry the utopian-minded commune of the 1960s with the American predilection for privacy and capital appreciation.”[24] (See Intentional community). The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC) is the best source for listings of and more information about communes in the United States.

As of 2010, the Venezuelan state has initiated the construction of almost 200 “socialist communes” which are billed as autonomous and independent from the government. The communes have their own “productive gardens that grow their own vegetables as a method of self-supply. The communes also make independent decisions in regards to administration and the use of funding.[25] The idea has been denounced as an attempt to undermine elected local governments, since the central government could shift its funding away from these in favor of communes, which are overseen by the federal Ministry of Communes and Social Protection.[26]

In Vietnam, commune (x) is the lowest subdivision. It is a subdivision of a district-level town (th x), rural district (huyn) or provincial city (thnh ph trc thuc tnh).

Read more:

Commune – Wikipedia

Posted in Intentional Communities | Comments Off on Commune – Wikipedia

Robotics Academy

Posted: December 14, 2016 at 11:59 pm

Carnegie Mellons Robotics Academystudies how teachers use robots in classrooms to teach Computer Science, Science, Technology Engineering, and Mathematics (CS-STEM). Our mission is to use the motivational effects of robotics to excite students about science and technology. The Robotics Academy fulfills it mission by developing research based solution for teachers that foreground CS-STEM and are classroom tested. Robotics Academy inspired papers and publications can be found here:

http://education.rec.ri.cmu.edu/educators/research/

Carnegie Mellons Robotic Academy staff and development team are housed in the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC), where robots for business, government, and industry are designed, prototyped, and tested just outside our office doors.

http://cs2n.org/teachers/ccrc

The CCRC projects goal is to integrate more computational thinking into robotics classrooms. CMRA has seen that many schools robotic classrooms started because the school became involved with a robotics competition. Many robotic competitions consist of a set of mechanically challenging activities and dont require sophisticated programming solutions for teams to be successful. This project builds on the existing robotics competition infrastructure and then extends these activities in ways that foreground computational thinking.

http://cs2n.org/teachers/cer

Robotics provide a great opportunity to introduce students to computer science. Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh develops, tests, and refines a Theory of Robotic Programming Badges that can be applied to Computer Science Education. This project builds on lessons learned as CMRA built the Computer Science Student Network and integrates a complete badge system in Robot Virtual Worlds. The project measures the ability of badges to motivate student learning, to be accurate indicators of student performance, and if the badges are easily understood by students.

For years we have heard that teachers are using robotics to teach mathematics. This project studied existing (2008) robotics education pedagogy and then developed multiple strategies that foregrounded proportional reasoning, a big idea in mathematics, that can be taught using robots. CMRA developed multiple tools that can help teachers foreground mathematics using robots:

Abstraction Bridges Link

Robots in Motion Link

Expedition Atlantis Game Link

Expedition Atlantis Teachers Guide PDF Content

Robot Virtual World Measurement Toolkit MP4 Video

and many written papers Link

Mathematics is an enabler of all future innovation and CMRA continues to look for innovative ways to foreground mathematics in all of its activities.

http://www.cs2n.org

The Computer Science Student Network (CS2N) started as a collaborative research project between Carnegie Mellon University and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) designed to increase the number of students pursuing advanced Computer Science and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (CS-STEM) degrees. CS2N has morphed into an online portal where students and teachers can find activities, competitions, and training designed to help them learn basic programming.

http://www.education.rec.ri.cmu.edu/robots/corridor/index.htm

The Robotics Corridor Project was a collaboration between Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, Butler County Community College, California University of Pennsylvania, Robert Morris University, Westmoreland County Community College, the Community College of Beaver County, the Community College of Allegheny College, and regional industry partners designed to determine the skill sets that a highly qualified technician would need to work in the robotics and automation industries. This partnership helped establish training, certifications, and associate degrees at the partner schools.

The Robotics Academy is a world leader in robotics education and trains teacher internationally. To learn more about our online, face to face, or onsite training please select this link:

http://education.rec.ri.cmu.edu/educators/professional-development/

The Robotics Academys qualified trainers can come to your site and offer classes for groups of teachers. The cost is $4000 plus expenses for up to 12 students for three days of classes. More than 12 students require a second trainer and increase the cost to $2000/day plus expenses. Total expenses are calculated prior to confirming the teaching dates.

You supply the training room, computers and robots (or robot kits) for the students as well as necessary utilities. In planning for necessary computers and robots, note that students are generally grouped in twos. Call412 681-7160for more information.

The Robotics Academy is pleased to share the following new curricular tools with you.

Introduction to Programming VEX IQ

The Introduction to Programming the VEX IQ Curriculum features lesson for the VEX IQ Microcontroller; the curriculums focus is to teach beginning programmers how to program using ROBOTCs graphical programming environment. All of the challenges in the curriculum have are available in the Robot Virtual World simulation environment.

More Information

VEX Cortex Video Trainer w/ ROBOTC

The VEX Cortex Video Trainer is a multimedia-rich curriculum featuring lessons for the VEX Cortex Microcontroller; the curriculums focus is to teach how to program, but it also includes multi-faceted engineering challenges, step-by-step videos, and robotics engineering teacher support materials. Themajority of the challenge found in the Cortex Video trainer have been simulated in the Robot Virtual World Curriculum Companion.

More Information

ROBOTC Graphical Introduction to Programming LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3

The Introduction to Programming the EV3 Curriculum is a curriculum module designed to teachcore computer programming logic and reasoning skills using a robotics context. The curriculumconsists of three chapters (Basic Movement, Sensors, and Program Flow) and each chapteris broken into units that teach key robotics and programming concepts. Additionally, there isa huge amount of support for teachers competing in Robotics Competitions for the first timeincluded in the teachers guide!

More Information

Introduction to Programming LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3

The Introduction to Programming EV3 Curriculum is a curriculum module designedto teach core computer programming logic and reasoning skills using a roboticsengineering context. It contains a sequence of 10 projects (plus one capstonechallenge) organized around key robotics and programming concepts.

More Information

Robot Virtual Worlds enable students to program virtual robots using the same code that they use on the physical classroom robots.

Robot Virtual Worlds

No Robot, No Problem! Robot Virtual Worlds is a high-end simulation environment that enables students, without robots, to learn programming. Research has shown that learning to program in RVW is more efficient than learning to program using physical robots. RVW simulates popular real world LEGO robots in 3D environments and allows you to program them using the same languages as physical robots. The RVW environment is perfect for home, classroom, and competition environments!

More Information:www.RobotVirtualWorlds.comwww.robomatter.com

Expedition Atlantis

Its the year 2023 and Atlantis has been discovered deep in the ocean, off of the coast of Africa. A team of elite scientists and engineers have been sent to investigate the underwater ruins, and youre one of them! Use your skills to to maneuver the teams underwater vehicles in this expedition to Atlantis!

This is a great GAME that will teach kids the math behind robot movement.

Learn More

Virtual Brick

GEA offers summer camps, weekend, and after school programs rooted in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), including the Lego WeDo Robotics, Programming with Scratch, Video Game Design, Lego EV3 Robotics, and Coding with RobotC. Find out more at:

http://www.greeneacademy.net/

Sarah Heinz House is an organization, aimed to provide children and teens with powerful role models and a safe, fun place to go after school, on weekends and during the summer. Find out more at:

http://www.sarahheinzhouse.org/summer-camps/

Original post:

Robotics Academy

Posted in Robotics | Comments Off on Robotics Academy

Farallon Islands – Wikipedia

Posted: December 7, 2016 at 8:07 am

The Farallon Islands, or Farallones (from the Spanish faralln meaning “pillar” or “sea cliff”), are a group of islands and sea stacks in the Gulf of the Farallones, off the coast of San Francisco, California, United States. They lie 30 miles (48km) outside the Golden Gate and 20 miles (32km) south of Point Reyes, and are visible from the mainland on clear days. The islands are officially part of the City and County of San Francisco. The only inhabited portion of the islands is on Southeast Farallon Island (SEFI), where researchers from Point Blue Conservation Science and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stay.[2] The islands are closed to the public.[3]

The Farallon National Wildlife Refuge is one of 63 National Wildlife Refuges that have congressionally designated wilderness status.[4] In 1974 the Farallon Wilderness was established (Public Law 93-550) and includes all islands except the Southeast Island for a total of 141 acres (57ha).[5]

The islands were long known by the name “Islands of the Dead” to the American Indians who lived in the Bay Area prior to the arrival of Europeans, but they are not thought to have traveled to them, either for practical reasons (the voyage and landing would be difficult and dangerous) or because of superstition (the islands were believed to be an abode of the spirits of the dead).[6][7][8]

The first European to land and record the islands was Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo in 1539, who named the islands “Farallones”, Spanish for cliffs or small pointed islets.[9] Cabrillo had departed from Puerto de Navidad in Mxico with two ships (three according to others): San Salvador, Victoria, and San Miguel, after which Catalina Island, Clemente and San Diego Bay were respectively named in this voyage. The expedition missed the entrance to San Francisco Bay, but it sighted and named nearby places such as “Punta de los Pinos” (Point Reyes), and “Bahia de los Pinos” (Monterey Bay).[10]

On July 24, 1579, English privateer and explorer Sir Francis Drake landed on the islands, in order to collect seal meat and bird eggs for his ship.[9] He named them the Islands of Saint James because the day after his arrival was the feast day of St James the Great. The name of St James is now applied to only one of the rocky islets of the North Farallones.

The islands were given the name “Los Frayles” (“The Friars”) by Spanish explorer Sebastin Vizcano, when he first charted them in 1603.

In the years following their discovery, during the Maritime Fur Trade era, the islands were exploited by seal hunters, first from New England and later from Russia. The Russians maintained a sealing station in the Farallones from 1812 to 1840, taking 1,200 to 1,500 fur seals annually, though American ships had already exploited the islands.[11] The Albatross, captained by Nathan Winship, and the O’Cain, captained by his brother Jonathan Winship, were the first American ships sent from Boston in 1809 to establish a settlement on the Columbia River. In 1810, they met up with two other American ships at the Farallon Islands, the Mercury and the Isabella, and at least 30,000 seal skins were taken.[12][13] By 1818 the seals diminished rapidly until only about 500 could be taken annually and within the next few years, the fur seal was extirpated from the islands. It is not known whether the northern fur seal or the Guadalupe fur seal were the islands’ native fur seal, although the northern fur seal is the species that began to recolonize the islands in 1996.

On July 17, 1827, the French sea captain Auguste Duhaut-Cilly sailed by the southernmost Farallon Island and counted the “crude dwellings of about a hundred Kodiaks stationed there by the Russians of Bodega…the Kodiaks, in their light boats, slip into San Francisco Bay by night, moving along the coast opposite the fort, and once inside this great basin they station themselves temporarily on some of the inner islands, from where they catch the sea otter without hindrance.”[15]

After Alta California was ceded by Mexico to the United States in 1848 with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the islands’ environment became linked to the growth of the city of San Francisco. Beginning in 1853, a lighthouse was constructed on SEFI. As the city grew, the seabird colonies came under severe threat as eggs were collected in the millions for San Francisco markets. The trade, which in its heyday could yield 500,000 eggs a month, was the source of conflict between the egg collecting companies and the lighthouse keepers. This conflict turned violent in a confrontation between rival companies in 1863. The clash between two rival companies, known as the Egg War, left two men dead and marked the end of private companies on the islands, although the lighthouse keepers continued egging. This activity, combined with the threat of oil spills from San Francisco’s shipping lanes, prompted President Theodore Roosevelt to sign Executive Order No. 1043 in 1909, creating the Farallon Reservation to protect the chain’s northern islands. This was expanded to the other islands in 1969 when it became a National Wildlife Refuge.

The islands are the site of many shipwrecks. The liberty ship SS Henry Bergh, a converted troop carrier that hit West End in 1944, pieces of which can still be seen from the island today (all hands were saved). The USS Conestoga, a US Navy tugboat that disappeared with its 56 crew members in 1921, was found in 2009 and positively identified in 2016. (The Conestoga had sailed from nearby San Francisco, but the waters of the Farallons were never searched because the vessel was assumed to have traveled far out into the Pacific.)[16]

The islands have also been mentioned in connection with the schooner Malahat as one possible site for Rum Row during Prohibition.[17] The United States Coast Guard maintained a manned lighthouse until 1972, when it was automated. The islands are currently managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, in conjunction with the Marin-based Point Blue Conservation Science (formerly Point Reyes Bird Observatory – PRBO). The islands are currently the subject of long term ecological research. Today, the Farallones are closed to the public, although birders and wildlife enthusiasts can approach them on whale watching boats and the sail-training vessel Seaward out of Sausalito.[18]

From 1902 to 1913, the former U.S. Weather Bureau maintained a weather station on the southeast island, which was connected with the mainland by cable. The results of the meteorological study were later published in a book on California’s climate. Temperatures during those years never exceeded 90F (32C) or dropped to 32F (0C).[19] Years later, the National Weather Service provided some weather observations from the lighthouse on its local radio station.

Three people have successfully swum from the Farallones to the Golden Gate, with two more swimming to points north of the Gate. The first, Ted Erikson, made the swim in September 1967, with the second, Joseph Locke, swimming to the Golden Gate on July 12, 2014, in 14 hours.[20] The third person, and the first woman to complete the distance, Kimberley Chambers, made it in just over 17 hours on Friday August 7, 2015.[21]

The Farallon Islands are outcroppings of the Salinian Block, a vast geologic province of granitic continental crust sharing its origins with the core of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The block was torn off far to the south of its present position and rifted north by the movement of the Pacific Plate on which the islands rest. Other nearby examples of the Salinian Block include the Point Reyes Peninsula and Bodega Head. The San Andreas Fault, marking a boundary zone between the Pacific and North American Plates, passes a few miles east of the islands.

The ancient Farallon Plate is named after the islands.

The islands string northwestward from Southeast Farallon Island for 5 miles (8.0km). Their total land area is 0.16 square miles (0.41km2). The islands were initially exploited for bird eggs and fur seal skins, then used as a lighthouse station and a radio station. They have been protected in the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge, first established in 1909 with the Southeast Farallons added in 1969,[22] and contain the largest seabird colony in the U.S. outside of Alaska and Hawaii. The islands are part of the City and County of San Francisco, and are considered part of Supervisorial District One (Northwest), also called Richmond District.

Middle Farallon Island, 2 miles (3.2km) northwest of SEFI, is a 20-foot (6.1m) high guano-covered black rock about 65 meters in diameter, with an area of 3,362 m2. This island is informally known as “the pimple.”

North Farallon Islands, about 7km further northwest, consist of two clusters of bare precipitous islets and rocks 31 to 85 meters high, with an aggregate area of 28,270 m2

Some of those unnamed rocks however have Spanish names, such as Piedra Guadalupe, Peasco Quebrado and Faralln Vizcano.

5km WNW of the North Farallones is Fanny Shoal, a bank 3km in extent, with depth less than 55 meters, marking the northernmost and westernmost feature of the group, albeit entirely submerged. Noonday Rock, which rises abruptly from a depth of 37 meters, with a least depth of 4 meters (13ft) over it at low tide, is the shallowest point of Fanny Shoal. There is a lighted bell buoy about 1km west of Noonday Rock. Noonday Rock derives its name from that of the clipper ship that struck it on January 1, 1863 and sank within one hour.[24]

The banks northwest of Fanny Shoal are not considered part of the Farallon Islands anymore, and they are outside of U.S. territorial waters. About 25km northwest of Fanny Shoal is Cordell Bank, a significant marine habitat (3801N 12325W / 38.017N 123.417W / 38.017; -123.417). About halfway between Fanny Shoal and Cordell Bank is Rittenburg Bank, with depths of less than 80 meters (3753N 12318W / 37.883N 123.300W / 37.883; -123.300).

The Farallon Islands are an important reserve protecting a huge seabird colony. The islands’ position in the highly productive California Current and eastern Pacific upwelling region, as well as the absence of other large islands that would provide suitable nesting grounds, result in a seabird population of over 250,000. Twelve species of seabird and shorebird nest on the islands; western gull, Brandt’s cormorant, pelagic cormorant, double-crested cormorant, pigeon guillemot, common murre, Cassin’s auklet, tufted puffin, black oystercatcher, rhinoceros auklet, ashy storm-petrel, and Leach’s storm-petrel. Since the islands were protected, common murres, which once numbered nearly 500,000 pairs but suffered from the egg collecting, oil spills and other disturbances that had greatly reduced their numbers, recovered and climbed from 6,000 birds to 160,000. Additionally, since protection, the locally extinct rhinoceros auklet has begun to breed on the islands again. The island has the world’s largest colonies of western gulls and ashy storm petrels, the latter species being considered endangered and a conservation priority. The island also is the wintering ground of several species of migrants, and regularly attracts vagrant birds (about 400 species of bird have been recorded on or around the island).

Five species of pinniped come to shore on the islands, and in some cases breed. These are the northern elephant seal, harbor seal, Steller’s sea lion, California sea lion, and the northern fur seal (the last of which, like the rhinoceros auklet, began to return to the island again after protection).

American whalers took 150,000 northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) from the Farallons between 1810 and 1813, followed by Russian fur hunters who lived on the Farallons and extirpated the pinnipeds from the islands. In 1996 West End Island became the fourth American northern fur seal rookery when a pup was born. The recolonizers bore tags from San Miguel Island in the Channel Islands. By 2006, nearly 100 pups were born.[25] The fur seals are aggressive and have displaced larger sea lions from their territory. The high count for 2011 was 476 individuals, a 69 percent increase from the year before.[26]

Several species of cetaceans are found near the Farallon Islands, most frequently gray whales, blue whales, and humpback whales. Blue whales and humpback whales are most frequently found near the islands in the summer and fall, when strong upwelling may support a rich pelagic food web. Killer whales are also found around the islands. Gray whales are reliably found near the Farallones during their spring migration north and the fall/winter migration south. Some gray whales may also be found during the summer, when a few whales skip the trip north to Alaska and spend the summer months off the coast of Canada and the continental United States.

In December 2005 one humpback was rescued from netting entanglement east of the Farallones by staff of The Marine Mammal Center.[27] The last sighting of another famous humpback, named Humphrey, was near the Farallones in 1991. The islands are in the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, which protects the feeding grounds of the wildlife of the refuge.

The elephant seal population attracts a population of great white sharks to the islands. In 1970 Farallon biologists witnessed their first shark attack, on a Stellers sea lion. During the next fifteen years, more than one hundred attacks on seals and sea lions were observed at close range. By the year 2000, biologists were logging almost eighty attacks in a single season.

While the males return annually, the females return only every other year, often with fresh, deep bites around their heads. The seasonal shark population at the Farallones is unclear, with estimates from thirty to one hundred. The Farallones are unique in the size of the great whites that are attracted. The average length of a full-grown great white shark is 4 to 4.8 metres (13.3 to 15.8ft), with a weight of 680 to 1,100 kilograms (1,500 to 2,450lbs), females generally being larger than males. Farallon great whites range between the “smaller” males at 13ft (4.0m) to the females, which generally range between 17ft (5.2m) to 19ft (5.8m). The largest accurately measured great white shark was a female caught in August 1988 at Prince Edward Island off the North Atlantic coast and measured 20.3ft (6.2m). A killer whale was recorded killing a great white near the Farallones in 1997.[29] Over the decades of study, many of the individual white sharks visiting the Farallones have been nicknamed, often based off their scars and appearances, such as Gouge, The Hunchback, The Jester, and Stumpy. Stumpy, an 18-foot female great white, in particular was well known for her appearance in the BBC documentary “Great White Shark” narrated by David Attenborough and stock footage of her attacks on decoys is often utilized in more recent documentaries, and another example, Tom Johnson, a 16-foot male white shark that was featured in an episode of the 2012 season of Shark Week called “Great White Highway” is believed to be the oldest living white shark so far documented returning to the Farallones, estimated at around 2530 years old.

Some individual sharks have been tagged and found to roam the Pacific as far as Hawaii and Guadalupe Island off Baja California, returning regularly to the Farallones every year in the autumn. Satellite tracking has revealed the majority of great white sharks from the Faralllones (and from other parts of California, Hawaii and the west coast of Mexico) migrate to an area of ocean dubbed the White Shark Caf, 1,500 miles (2,400km) west of Ensenada, Baja California. The peak of activity at this location is from mid-April to Mid-July, but some shark spend up to eight months of the year there.

According to a report in USA Today, it is the most rodent-dense island in the world, with an average of 500 Eurasian house mice occupying each of its 120 acres (49ha) and an amount of 60,000 total.[32]

From 1946 to 1970, the sea around the Farallones was used as a nuclear dumping site for radioactive waste under the authority of the Atomic Energy Commission at a site known as the Farallon Island Nuclear Waste Dump. Most of the dumping took place before 1960, and all dumping of radioactive wastes by the United States was terminated in 1970. By then, 47,500 containers (55-gallon steel drums) had been dumped in the vicinity, with a total estimated radioactive activity of 14,500 Ci. The materials dumped were mostly laboratory materials containing traces of contamination. Much of the radioactivity had decayed by 1980.[33]

44,000 containers were dumped at 3737N 12317W / 37.617N 123.283W / 37.617; -123.283, and another 3,500 at 3738N 12308W / 37.633N 123.133W / 37.633; -123.133.[33]

The exact location of the containers and the potential hazard the containers pose to the environment are unknown.[34] Attempts to remove the barrels would likely produce greater risk than leaving them undisturbed.[33]

Waste containers were shipped to Hunters Point Shipyard, then loaded onto barges for transportation to the Farallones. Containers were weighted with concrete. Those that floated were sometimes shot with rifles to sink them.[35]

In January 1951, the highly radioactive hull of USS Independence, which was used in Operation Crossroads and then loaded with barrels of radioactive waste, was scuttled in the area.[36]

Read more:

Farallon Islands – Wikipedia

Posted in Private Islands | Comments Off on Farallon Islands – Wikipedia

Abolition of the ESA Work-Related Activity Component …

Posted: December 2, 2016 at 12:27 pm

The Welfare Reform and Act 2016 legislated for the abolition of the Work-Related Activity Component (WRAC)of ESA for new claimants from April 2017. Based on 2016-17 rates, this equates to a reduction of 29.05 a week for claimants in the Work-Related Activity Group (WRAG). Alongside this, the Government announced “new funding for additional support to help claimants return to work”

ESA is an “income replacement” benefitfor people who have a health condition or disability which limits their ability to work. As of February 2016 there were around 2.4 million ESA claimants in Great Britain, including450,000 in the Work-Related Activity Group.

There are two forms of ESA:

Income-related ESA will be replaced by Universal Credit; contributory ESA will remain as a separate benefit. The Government currently expects the introduction of Universal Credit to be fully complete by 2022.

A person must undergo a Work Capability Assessment to be eligible for ESA. There are three possible outcomes of a Work Capability Assessment;

Following the assessment, successful ESA claimants receive a standard rate plus an additional amount.

The standard rate of ESA is currently 73.10 a week, plus either:

These additions are known as the Support Component and the Work-Related Activity Component, respectively.

In the Summer Budget 2015, it was announced that the Work-Related Activity Component paid to those in the WRAG would be abolished for new claims from April 2017. The equivalent element in Universal Credit will also be abolished. This will be a reduction of 29.05 a week (based on 2016-17 rates) and aligns the rate of payment with those claiming Jobseekers Allowance (2016-17 rate: 73.10 a week). Existing claimants will not be affected, while there will be protections for those who may move into the WRAG or Universal Credit equivalent from the Support Group.

The changes were introduced to remove the financial incentives that could otherwise discourage claimants from taking steps back to work. 640 million a year of savings were initially forecast by 2020-21; this was later revised to 450 million a year.

The changes were widely criticised by disabled charities. The idea that the WRAC incentivises claimants to not look for work has been particularly disputed.

The proposals were opposed by opposition parties. Amendments to retain the component (and equivalent in Universal Credit) were tabled and agreed at the Lords Report Stage of the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016. The Lords vote followed the publication ofa review initiated by Members of the House of Lords and supported by disability charities; the “Halving the Gap?” review. The review recommended that theGovernment should not proceed with the removal of the Work-Related ActivityComponent.

These amendmentswere overturned by the Commons. A further amendment requiring the Government to provide analysis of the impact of the changes before introducing them was also proposed by the Lords, and subsequently overturned by the Commons.

Alongside the changes to the WRAC was an announcement to provide new funding for additional support to help claimants return to work. The Government has since announced a series of measures and funding to deliver this, including;

60 million per year rising to 100 million per year for practical employment support, including an additional 15 million in 2017-18 directed at the local Jobcentre PlusFlexible Support Fund, to be set asidespecifically forthose with limited capability to work

Further detail of the additional employment support has been set out in the Government’s October 2016 Green Paper, Improving Lives. This was published instead of a previously announced White Paper.

Here is the original post:

Abolition of the ESA Work-Related Activity Component …

Posted in Abolition Of Work | Comments Off on Abolition of the ESA Work-Related Activity Component …

Nature Mysticism : Quotations, Links, Bibliography, Notes …

Posted: November 25, 2016 at 10:10 am

Nature Mysticism

Quotes Bibliography Links

Spirituality Walking Gardening Druids Cloud Hands Blog

Research by Michael P. Garofalo

Quotes

Nature Mysticism

“The road enters green mountains near evening’s dark; Beneath the white cherry trees, a Buddhist temple Whose priest doesn’t know what regret for spring’s passing means- Each stroke of his bell startles more blossoms into falling.” – Keijo Shurin

“Experiencing the present purely is being empty and hollow; you catch grace as a man fills his cup under a waterfall.”- Annie Dillard

“When we touch this domain, we are filled with the cosmic force of life itself, we sink our roots deep into the black soil and draw power and being up into ourselves. We know the energy of the numen and are saturated with power and being. We feel grounded, centered, in touch with the ancient and eternal rhythms of life. Power and passion well up like an artesian spring and creativity dances in celebration of life.”- David N. Elkins, The Sacred as Source of Personal Passion and Power

Mysticism – Quotes and Poems for Gardeners and Lovers of the Green Way

“There are sacred moments in life when we experience in rational and very direct ways that separation, the boundary between ourselvesand other people and between ourselves and Nature, is illusion. Oneness is reality. We can experience that stasis is illusory and that reality is continual flux and change on very subtle and also on gross levels of perception.- Charlene Spretnak

“And every stone and every star a tongue, And every gale of wind a curious song. The Heavens were an oracle, and spoke Divinity: the Earth did undertake The office of a priest; and I being dumb (Nothing besides was dumb) all things did come With voices and instructions…”- Thomas Traherne, Dumbness, 17th Century

“If not ignored, nature will cultivate in the gardener a sense of well-being and peace. The gardener may find deeper meaning in life by paying attention to the parables of the garden. Nature teaches quiet lessons to the gardener who chooses to live within the paradigm of the garden.” – Norman H. Hansen, The Worth of Gardening

“These blessed mountains are so compactly filled with God’s beauty,no petty personal hope or experience has room to be . . . . the wholebody seems to feel beauty when exposed to it as it feels the campfireor sunshine, entering not by the eyes alone, but equally through allone’s flesh like radiant heat, making a passionate ecstatic pleasure glow not explainable. One’s body then seems homogeneousthroughout, sound as a crystal.”- John Muir

Quotes and Poems for Gardeners and Lovers of the Green Way

“A monk asked Zhaozhou, “What is the living meaning of Zen?.” Zhaozhou said, “The oak tree in the courtyard.”- Case 37 from the Mumonkan (Wumenguan) Collection of Zen Koans The Oak Tree in the Courtyard

“Beyond its practical aspects, gardening – be it of the soil or soul – can lead us on a philosophical and spiritual exploration that is nothing less than a journey into the depths of our own sacredness and the sacredness of all beings. After all, there must be something more mystical beyond the garden gate, something that satisfies the soul’s attraction to beauty, peace, solace, and celebration.” – Christopher and Tricia McDowell, The Sanctuary Garden, 1998, p.13 Cortesia Sanctuary and Center

“When I would re-create myself, I seek the darkest wood, the thickest and most interminable and to the citizen, most dismal, swamp. I enter as a sacred place, a Sanctum sanctorum. There is the strength, the marrow, of Nature.”- Henry David Thoreau, Walking, 1851

Religion – Quotes and Poems for Gardeners and Lovers of the Green Way

“We invent nothing, truly. We borrow and re-create. We uncoverand discover. All has been given, as the mystics say. We haveonly to open our eyes and hearts, to become one with that which is.” – Henry Miller

“For the Eastern mystic, all things and events perceived by the senses are interrelated, connected and are but different aspects or manifestations of the same ultimate reality. Our tendency to divide the perceived world into individual and separate things and to experience ourselves as isolated egos in this world is seen as an illusion which comes from our measuring and categorizing mentally. It is called avidya, or ignorance, in Buddhist philosophy and is seen as the sate of a disturbed mind which has to be overcome: ‘When the mind is disturbed, the multiplicity of things is produced, but when the mind is quieted, the multiplicity of things disappears.’ Although the various schools of Eastern mysticism differ in many details, they all emphasize the basic unity of the universe which is the central feature of their teachings. The highest aim for their followers – whether they are Hindus, Buddhists or Taoists – is to become aware of the unity and mutual interdependence of all things, to transcend the notion of an isolated individual self and to identify themselves with the ultimate reality. The emergence of this awareness – known as ‘enlightenment’- is not only an intellectual act but is an experience which involves the whole person and is religious in its ultimate nature. For this reason, most Easter philosophies are essentially religious philosophies.”

– Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics, 25th Anniversary Edition, p. 24

“God does not die on that day when we cease to believe in a personaldeity, but we die when our lives cease to be illuminated by the steadyradiance, renewed daily, of a wonder, the source of which is beyondall reasoning…. When the sense of the earth unites with the senseof one’s body, one becomes earth of the earth, a plant among plants,an animal born from the soil and fertilizing it. In this union, the bodyis confirmed in its pantheism.” – Dag Hammarskjold (1905-1961)

Spirituality – Quotes and Poems for Gardeners and Lovers of the Green Way

“Of course the Dharma-body of the Buddha was the hedge at the bottom of the garden. At the same time, and no less obviously, it was these flowers, it was anything that I – or rather the blessed Not-I – cared to look at.” – Aldous Huxley

“We will endeavour to shew how the aire and genious of Gardens operat upon humane spirits towards virtue and sancitie, I meane in a remote, preparatory and instrumentall working. How Caves, Grotts, Mounts, and irregular ornaments of Gardens do contribute to contemplative and philosophicall Enthusiasms; how Elysium, Antrum, Nemus, Paradysus, Hortus, Lucus, &c., signifie all of them rem sacram et divinam; for these expedients do influence the soule and spirits of man, and prepare them for converse with good Angells; besides which, they contribute to the lesse abstracted pleasures, phylosophy naturall and longevitie.”- John Evelyn in a letter to Sir Thomas Browne, 1657

“Sure as the most certain sure …. plumb in the uprights, well entreated, braced in the beams, Stout as a horse, affectionate, haughty, electrical, I and this mystery we stand.

Clear and sweet is my soul …. and clear and sweet is all that is not my soul,

Lack one lacks both …. and the unseen is proved by the seen Till that becomes unseen and receives proof in its turn.

To elaborate is no avail …. Learned and unlearned feel that it is so.”- Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, 1855, Line 40-

“Flower in the crannied wall I pluck you out of the crannies I hold you here, root and all, in my hand. Little flower, but if I could understand, What you are, root and all, and all in all, I should know what God and man is.”- Alred Tennyson, Flower in the Crannied Wall

“What I know in my bones is that I forgot to take time to remember what I know. The world is holy. We are holy. All life is holy. Dailyprayers are delivered on the lips of breaking waves, thewhisperings of grasses, the shimmering of leaves.- Terry Tempest Williams

Trees – Quotes and Poems for Gardeners and Lovers of the Green Way

“The Tao exists in the crickets … in the grasses … in tiles and bricks … and in shit and piss.”- Chuang-tzu, The Roaring Stream: A New Zen Reader, p. 117

“In the assemblies of the enlightened ones there have been many cases of mastering the Way bringing forth the heart of plants and trees; this is what awakening the mind for enlightenment is like. The fifth patriarch of Zen was once a pine-planting wayfarer; Rinzai worked on planting cedars and pines on Mount Obaku. … Working with plants, trees, fences and walls, if they practice sincerely they will attain enlightenment.”- Dogen Zenji, Japanese Zen Buddhist Grand Master, Awakening the Unsurpassed Mind, #31

“A callused palm and dirty fingernails precede a Green Thumb. Complexity is closer to the Truth. Sitting in a garden and doing nothing is high art everywhere. Does a plum tree with no fruit have Buddha Nature? Whack!! The only Zen you’ll find flowering in the garden is the Zen you bring there each day. Dearly respect the lifestyle of worms. All enlightened beings are enchanted by water. Becoming invisible to oneself is one pure act of gardening. Priapus, lively and naughty, aroused and outlandish, is the Duende de el Jardin.Inside the gardener is the spirit of the garden outside. Gardening is a kind of deadheading – keeping us from going to seed. The joyful gardener is evidence of an incarnation. One purpose of a garden is to stop time. Leafing is the practice of seeds. Good weather all the week, but come the weekend the weather stinks. Springtime for birth, Summertime for growth; and all Seasons for dying. Ripening grapes in the summer sun – reason enough to plod ahead. Springtime flows in our veins. Beauty is the Mistress, the gardener Her salve. A soul is colored Spring green. When the Divine knocks, don’t send a prophet to the door. Winter does not turn into Summer; ash does not turn into firewood – on thechopping block of time. Fresh fruit from the tree – sweet summertime! Gardens are demanding pets. Shade was the first shelter. One spring and one summer to know life’s hope; one autumn and one winter to know life’s fate. Somehow, someway, everything gets eaten up, someday. Relax and be still around the bees. Paradise and shade are close relatives on a summer day. Absolutes squirm beneath realities. The spiders, grasshoppers, mantis, and moth larva are all back: the summer crowd has returned! To garden is to open your heart to the sky.”- Michael P. Garofalo, Pulling Onions

Original post:
Nature Mysticism : Quotations, Links, Bibliography, Notes …

Posted in Pantheism | Comments Off on Nature Mysticism : Quotations, Links, Bibliography, Notes …

Obama Urged to Fire NSA Director

Posted: at 10:09 am

The heads of the Pentagon and the nations intelligence community have recommended to President Obama that the director of the National Security Agency, Adm. Michael S. Rogers, be removed.

The recommendation, delivered to the White House last month, was made by Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., according to several U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

Action has been delayed, some administration officials said, because relieving Rogers of his duties is tied to another controversial recommendation: to create separate chains of command at the NSA and the militarys cyberwarfare unit, a recommendation by Clapper and Carter that has been stalled because of other issues.

The news comes as Rogers is being considered by President-elect Donald Trump to be his nominee for director of national intelligence to replace Clapper as the official who oversees all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies. In a move apparently unprecedented for a military officer, Rogers, without notifying superiors, traveled to New York to meet with Trump on Thursday at Trump Tower. That caused consternation at senior levels of the administration, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal personnel matters.

The White House, Pentagon and Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment. The NSA did not respond to requests for comment. Carter has concerns with Rogerss performance, officials said. The driving force for Clapper, meanwhile, was the separation of leadership roles at the NSA and U.S. Cyber Command, and his stance that the NSA should be headed by a civilian.

In a speech before the National Press Club on July 16, Adm. Michael S. Rogers, director of the National Security Agency, said that the agency is increasingly involved in responding to cyberthreats. (C-SPAN)

[Trumps security picks signals intent to keep hard-line promises]

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, on Saturday sent Clapper and Carter a letter defending Rogers. I have been consistently impressed with his leadership and accomplishments, said Nunes, who is also a member of Trumps transition team. His professionalism, expertise and deckplate leadership have been remarkable during an extremely challenging period for NSA. I know other members of Congress hold him in similarly high esteem.

Nunes said he will call a hearing on the matter.

Rogers, 57, took the helm of the NSA and Cyber Command in April 2014 in the wake of revelations by a former intelligence contractor of broad surveillance activities that shook public confidence in the agency. The contractor, Edward Snowden, had secretly downloaded vast amounts of digital documents that he shared with a handful of journalists. His disclosures prompted debate over the proper scale of surveillance and led to some reforms.

But they also were a black eye for an agency that prides itself on having the most skilled hackers and cybersecurity professionals in government. Rogers was charged with making sure another insider breach never happened again.

Instead, in the past year and a half, officials have discovered two major compromises of sensitive hacking tools by personnel working at the NSAs premier hacking unit: the Tailored Access Operations (TAO). One involved a Booz Allen Hamilton contractor, Harold T. Martin III, who is accused of carrying out the largest theft of classified government material. Although some of his activity took place before Rogers arrived and at other agencies, some of it including the breach of some of the most sensitive tools continued on Rogerss watch, the officials said.

Martins alleged theft was discovered when some of the tools he is accused of stealing were mysteriously released online in August. They included computer code based on obscure software flaws that could be used to take control of firewalls and networks what one former TAO operator called the keys to the kingdom.

A federal contractor suspected in the leak of powerful National Security Agency hacking tools has been arrested and charged with stealing classified information from the U.S. government, according to court records and U.S. officials familiar with the case. (Monica Akhtar/The Washington Post)

Martin, who moved from the NSA to a job in a Defense Department acquisitions agency last year, was arrested in August. The news broke last month.

[Government alleges NSA contractor stole astonishing quantity of classified material]

But there was a second, previously undisclosed breach of cybertools, discovered in the summer of 2015, which was also carried out by a TAO employee, one official said. That individual also has been arrested, but his case has not been made public. The individual is not thought to have shared the material with another country, the official said.

Rogers was put on notice by his two bosses Clapper and Carter that he had to get control of internal security and improve his leadership style. There have been persistent complaints from NSA personnel that Rogers is aloof, frequently absent and does not listen to staff input. The NSA is an intelligence agency but part of the Defense Department, hence the two overseers.

FBI agents investigating the Martin breach were appalled at how lax security was at the TAO, officials said. [Rogers] is a guy who has been at the helm of the NSA at the time of some of the most egregious security breaches, most recently Hal Martin, a senior administration official said. Clearly its a sprawling bureaucracy … but I think theres a compelling case that can be made that some of the safeguards that should have been put in place were either not fully put in place or not implemented properly.

At the same time, Rogers has not impressed Carter with his handling of U.S. Cyber Commands cyberoffensive against the Islamic State. Over the past year or so, the commands operations against the terrorist groups networks in Syria and Iraq have not borne much fruit, officials said. In the past month, military hackers have been successful at disrupting some Islamic State networks, but it was the first time they had done that, the officials said.

The expectation had been that Rogers would be replaced before the Nov. 8 election, but as part of an announcement about the change in leadership structure at the NSA and Cyber Command, a second administration official said.

It was going to be part of a full package, the official said. The idea was not for any kind of public firing. In any case, Rogerss term at the NSA and Cyber Command is due to end in the spring, officials said.

The president would then appoint an acting NSA director, enabling his successor to nominate their own person. But a key lawmaker, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, threatened to block any such nominee if the White House proceeded with the plan to split the leadership at the NSA and Cyber Command.

The rationale for splitting what is called the dual-hat arrangement is that the agencies missions are fundamentally different, that the nations cyberspies and military hackers should not be competing to use the same networks, and that the job of leading both organizations is too big for one person.

But McCain is concerned that placing Cyber Command under its own leadership will hinder its effectiveness, as it is highly dependent on the NSA for capabilities.

Meanwhile, in February, Rogers announced a major reorganization, which he called NSA21, at the NSA to better adapt to the digital age. He has merged the agencys spying and hacking arms with its computer-security division into one Directorate of Operations. That reorganization has only intensified the discontent that has marked Rogerss tenure at the agency, current and former officials said.

The morale is horrible, one former senior official said. Especially during a period of change, a leader needs to be present, the official said. Any leader knows that when you institute change, you have to be there. You have to help heal the wounds, be very active. He was not.

But Saxby Chambliss, a former Republican senator from Georgia who served on the Select Committee on Intelligence, said that he thinks highly of Rogers. When it comes to the world of cyber, theres nobody more capable than Mike Rogers in the military world today, he said.

Nonetheless, Rogers has seen other embarrassing network breaches on his watch. In 2013, Iranian hackers managed to penetrate the Navys unclassified network when Rogers was head of the 10th Fleet/Navy Cyber Command, the unit responsible for protecting the Navys networks. It took months to expel the attackers.

Rogers is a Navy cryptologist whose military career spans 35 years. He began his career as a surface-warfare officer in 1981. A Chicago native, he also has served as head of the Chairmans Action Group, an in-house Pentagon think tank to advise on policy and long-term issues, under the then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Peter Pace, and as director of intelligence at Pacific Command and then on the Joint Staff.

Read more:

Trumps security picks deepen Muslim worries about an anti-Islamic White House

Intelligence community is already feeling a sense of dread about Trump

Makeup helps women look more attractive: This employee dress memo went around Lt. Gen. Michael Flynns DIA

Read the original post:
Obama Urged to Fire NSA Director

Posted in NSA | Comments Off on Obama Urged to Fire NSA Director

Fiscal year – Wikipedia

Posted: November 23, 2016 at 10:04 pm

A fiscal year (or financial year, or sometimes budget year) is a period used for calculating annual (“yearly”) financial statements in businesses and other organizations all over the world. In many jurisdictions, regulatory laws regarding accounting and taxation require such reports once per twelve months, but do not require that the period reported on constitutes a calendar year (that is, 1 January to 31 December). Fiscal years vary between businesses and countries. The “fiscal year” may also refer to the year used for income tax reporting.

The ‘fiscal year end’ (FYE) is the date that marks the end of the fiscal year. Some companies choose to end their fiscal year such that it ends on the same day of the week each year, e.g. the day that is closest to a particular date (for example, the Friday closest to 31 December). Under such a system, some fiscal years will have 52 weeks and others 53 weeks. A major corporation that has adopted this approach is Cisco Systems.[1]

Nevertheless, the fiscal year is identical to the calendar year for about 65% of publicly traded companies in the United States and for a majority of large corporations in the UK[2] and elsewhere (with notable exceptions Australia, New Zealand and Japan).[3]

Many universities have a fiscal year which ends during the summer, both to align the fiscal year with the academic year (and, in some cases involving public universities, with the state government’s fiscal year), and because the school is normally less busy during the summer months. In the northern hemisphere this is July in one year to June in the next year. In the southern hemisphere this is January to December of a single calendar year.

Some media/communication based organizations use a broadcast calendar as the basis for their fiscal year.

The fiscal year is usually denoted by the year in which it ends, so United States of America federal government spending incurred on 14 November 2016 would belong to fiscal year 2017, operating on a fiscal calendar of OctoberSeptember.[4]

The NFL uses the term “league year,” which in effect forms the league’s fiscal year. By rule, the fiscal year begins at 4 PM EDT on 10 March of each calendar year. All financial reports are based on each fiscal year. However, the fiscal year is denoted in the NFL by the year where it starts, not where it ends, unlike most designations.

In some jurisdictions, particularly those that permit tax consolidation, companies that are part of a group of businesses must use nearly the same fiscal year (differences of up to three months are permitted in some jurisdictions, such as the U.S. and Japan), with consolidating entries to adjust for transactions between units with different fiscal years, so the same resources will not be counted more than once or not at all.[citation needed]

In Afghanistan, the fiscal year was recently changed from 1 Hamal – 29 Hoot (21 March – 20 March) to 1 Jadi – 30 Qaus (21 December – 20 December). The fiscal year runs with the Afghan calendar, thus resulting in difference of the Gregorian dates once in a four-year span.[citation needed]

In Australia, the fiscal year or, more commonly, “financial year”, starts on 1 July and ends on 30 June. For personal income tax after the financial year ends, individuals have until 31 October to lodge their return (unless they use a tax agent).[5] This fiscal year definition is used both for official purposes and by the overwhelming majority of private enterprises, but this is not legally mandated.[6] A company may, for example, opt for a financial year that always ends at the end of a week (and therefore is not exactly one calendar year in length), or opt for each financial year to end on a different date to match the reporting cycles of its foreign parent.

In Austria the fiscal year is the calendar year, January 1st – December 31st.

In Bangladesh, the fiscal year starts on 1 July and ends on 30 June.

In Belarus, the fiscal year starts on 1 January and ends on 31 December.

In Brazil, the fiscal year starts on 1 January and ends on 31 December. Citizens pay income tax (when needed) starting in May, but the form filling goes from March to April. All tax declarations must be done on-line using government written free software.[citation needed]

In Bulgaria, the fiscal year matches the calendar year both for personal income tax [7] and for corporate taxes.[8]

In Canada,[9] the government’s financial year runs from 1 April to 31 March (Example 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 for the current financial year).

For individuals in Canada, the fiscal year runs from 1 January to 31 December.

The fiscal year for all entities starts on 1 January and ends 31 December, consistent with the calendar year, to match the tax year, statutory year, and planning year.[citation needed]

In Colombia, the fiscal year starts 1 January ending on 31 December. Yearly taxes are due in the middle of March/April for corporations while citizens pay income tax (when needed) starting in August, ending in September, according to the last 2 digits of the national ID.[citation needed]

The fiscal year in Costa Rica spans from 1 October until 30 September. Taxpayers are required to pay the tributes before 15 December of each year.[citation needed]

In the Arab Republic of Egypt, the fiscal year starts on 1 July and concludes on 30 June.[citation needed]

The fiscal year matches the calendar year, and has since at least 1911.[10]

In the Hellenic Republic, the fiscal year starts on 1 January and concludes on 31 December.

In Hong Kong,[11] the government’s financial year runs from 1 April to 31 March (Example 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 for the current financial year).

In India, the government’s financial year runs from 1 April to 31 March midnight. Example: 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 for the financial year 20162017. It is also abbreviated as FY17.[12][13]

Companies following the Indian Depositary Receipt (IDR) are given freedom to choose their financial year. For example, Standard Chartered’s IDR follows the UK calendar despite being listed in India. Companies following Indian fiscal year get to know their economical health on 31 March of every Indian financial or fiscal year.

There was discussions by the newly formed NITI Aayog, in the month of July 2016,in a meeting organised by the PM Modi, that the next fiscal year may start from 1 January to 31 December after the end of the current five-year plan.[14]

In Iran, the fiscal year starts usually on March 21 (1st of Farvardin) and concludes on next year’s March 20 (29th of Esfand) in Solar Hijri calendar [15]

Ireland used the year ending 5 April until 2001 when it was changed, at the request of Finance Minister Charlie McCreevy, to match the calendar year (the 2001 tax year was nine months, from April to December)[citation needed]

Since 2002, it is aligned with the calendar year: 1 January to 31 December.[16]

In Israel the fiscal year is from 1 January until 31 December.[17]

In Italy the fiscal year was from 1 July to 30 June until 1965; now it is from 1 January until 31 December.[citation needed]

In Japan,[18] the government’s financial year runs from 1 April to 31 March. The fiscal year is represented by the calendar year in which the period begins, followed by the word nendo (); for example the fiscal year from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 is called 2016nendo.

Japan’s income tax year runs from 1 January to 31 December, but corporate tax is charged according to the corporation’s own annual period.[citation needed]

In Macau, the government’s financial year runs from 1 January to 31 December (Example 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2016 for the current financial year).

In Mexico the fiscal year starts on January 1 and ends on December 31.

In Myanmar,[19] the fiscal year goes from 1 April to 31 March.

The fiscal year in Nepal starts from Shrawan 1 (4th month of Bikram calendar) and ends on Ashad 31 (3rd month of Bikram calendar). Shrawan 1 roughly falls on mid July.[20]

The New Zealand Government’s fiscal[21] and financial reporting[22] year begins on 1 July and concludes on 30 June[23] of the following year and applies to the budget. The company and personal financial year[24] begins on 1 April and finishes on 31 March and applies to company and personal income tax.

The Pakistan Government’s fiscal year starts on 1 July of the previous calendar year and concludes on 30 June. Private companies are free to observe their own accounting year, which may not be the same as Government of Pakistan’s fiscal year.[citation needed]

In Portugal the fiscal year starts on January 1 and ends on December 31.

The fiscal year matches the calendar year, and has since at least 1911.[10]

The fiscal year for the calculation of personal income taxes runs from 1 January to 31 December.[citation needed]

The fiscal year for the Government of Singapore and many government-linked corporations runs from 1 April to 31 March.[citation needed]

Corporations and organisations are permitted to select any date to mark the end of each fiscal year, as long as this date remains constant.[citation needed]

In South Africa the fiscal year for the Government of South Africa starts on 1 April and ends 31 March.[citation needed]

The year of assessment for individuals covers twelve months, beginning on 1 March and ending on the final day of February the following year. The Act also provides for certain classes of taxpayers to have a year of assessment ending on a day other than the last day of February. Companies are permitted to have a tax year ending on a date that coincides with their financial year. Many older companies still use a tax year that runs from 1 July to 30 June, inherited from the British system. A common practice for newer companies is to run their tax year from 1 March to the final day of February following, to synchronize with the tax year for individuals.[citation needed]

In South Korea(Republic of Korea) the fiscal year starts on 1 January and ends 31 December.[citation needed]

In Spain the fiscal year starts on 1 January and ends 31 December.[25]

The fiscal year for individuals runs from 1 January to 31 December.[26]

The fiscal year for an organisation is typically one of the following (cf. Swedish Wikipedia):

However, all calendar months are allowed. If an organisation wishes to change into a non-calendar year, permission from the Tax Authority is required.[27][28]

Under the Income Tax Act of Taiwan, the fiscal year commences on 1 January and ends on 31 December of each calendar year. However, an enterprise may elect to adopt a special fiscal year at the time it is established and can request approval from the tax authorities to change its fiscal year.[29]

The Thai government’s fiscal year (FY) begins on 1 October and ends on 30 September of the following year.[30] FY2015 dates from 1 October 2014 30 September 2015. The Thai government’s year for individual income tax is the calendar year (1 January 31 December)

In Ukraine, the fiscal year matches with the calendar year which starts on 1 January and ends 31 December.

In the United Arab Emirates, the fiscal year starts on 1 January and ends 31 December.[citation needed]

In the United Kingdom,[31] the financial year runs from 1 April to 31 March for the purposes of corporation tax[32] and government financial statements.[33] For the self-employed and others who pay personal tax the fiscal year starts on 6 April and ends on 5 April of the next calendar year.[34]

Although United Kingdom corporation tax is charged by reference to the government’s financial year, companies can adopt any year as their accounting year: if there is a change in tax rate, the taxable profit is apportioned to financial years on a time basis.[citation needed]

A number of major corporations that were once government-owned, such as BT Group and the National Grid, continue to use the government’s financial year, which ends on the last day of March, as they have found no reason to change since privatisation.[citation needed]

The 5 April year end for personal tax and benefits reflects the old ecclesiastical calendar, with New Year falling on 25 March (Lady Day), the difference being accounted for by the eleven days “missed out” when Great Britain converted from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar in 1752 (the British tax authorities, and landlords were unwilling to lose 11 days of tax and rent revenue, so under provision 6 (Times of Payment of Rents, Annuities, &c.) of the Calendar (New Style) Act 1750, the 17523 tax year was extended by 11 days). From 1753 until 1799, the tax year in Great Britain began on 5 April, which was the “old style” new year of 25 March. A 12th skipped Gregorian leap day in 1800 changed its start to 6 April. It was not changed when a 13th Julian leap day was skipped in 1900, so the start of the personal tax year in the United Kingdom is still 6 April.[35][36][37]

The United States federal government’s fiscal year is the 12-month period ending on 30 September of that year, having begun on 1 October of the previous calendar year. In particular, the identification of a fiscal year is the calendar year in which it ends; thus, the current fiscal year is 2017, often written as “FY2017” or “FY17”, which began on 1 October 2016 and which will end on 30 September 2017.

Prior to 1976, the fiscal year began on 1 July and ended on 30 June. The Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 made the change to allow Congress more time to arrive at a budget each year, and provided for what is known as the “transitional quarter” from 1 July 1976 to 30 September 1976. An earlier shift in the federal government’s fiscal year was made in 1843, shifting the fiscal year from a calendar year to one starting on 1 July.[38]

For example, the United States government fiscal year for 2017 is:

State governments set their own fiscal year. It may or may not align with the federal calendar. For example, in California, the state’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30 each year.[39]

The tax year for a business is governed by the fiscal year it chooses. A business may choose any consistent fiscal year that it wants; however, for seasonal businesses such as farming and retail, a good account practice is to end the fiscal year shortly after the highest revenue time of year. Consequently, most large agriculture companies end their fiscal years after the harvest season, and most retailers end their fiscal years shortly after the Christmas shopping season.

The fiscal year for individuals and entities to report and pay income taxes is often known as the taxpayer’s tax year or taxable year. Taxpayers in many jurisdictions may choose their tax year.[40] In federal countries (e.g., United States, Canada, Switzerland), state/provincial/cantonal tax years must be the same as the federal year. Nearly all jurisdictions require that the tax year be 12 months or 52/53 weeks.[41] However, short years are permitted as the first year or when changing tax years.[42]

Most countries require all individuals to pay income tax based on the calendar year. Significant exceptions include:

Many jurisdictions require that the tax year conform to the taxpayer’s fiscal year for financial reporting. The United States is a notable exception: taxpayers may choose any tax year, but must keep books and records for such year.[41]

Here is the original post:

Fiscal year – Wikipedia

Posted in Fiscal Freedom | Comments Off on Fiscal year – Wikipedia

Buck Island – BVI, Caribbean – Private Islands for Sale

Posted: November 21, 2016 at 11:12 am

The Main House has 2 bedroom suites that can accommodate up to 4.

The Master Suite includes 1 bedroom with 2 large porches, a study with attached conference room, and a drawing room with porch.

The Two-Bedroom suite has a kitchen, sitting and dining area on the upper level, and the garage, wine cellar, and staff office.

The Two Guest Cottages accompany the infinity edge pool that overlooks the Sir Francis Drake Channel.

Other areas include a large family room, 4 half-baths, a dinette area, a computer/library room, a gallery, a butlers pantry, and laundry facilities. Beneath the main house is a workout/spa room with beautiful views.

The Boat House is stocked with kayaks, lazer sail boats, dinghies, land & water recreational equipment, snorkel gear, life jackets/vests, and other water sports equipment.

There are several areas throughout the property that have covered and uncovered sitting areas.

On the island you will find a wide variety of thriving flora such as cactuses and wild flowers, as well as a range of land and sea birds including hawks, cranes, herons and hummingbirds. Even more abundant are the beautiful coral reefs and marine life that populate the surrounding waters.

A helipad is available on the island for guests arriving by private helicopters. Transport options to Buck Island are flexible and can be catered to your preference and convenience.

Year-round tradewinds average 15 mph bringing in clean and pure ionized air direct from West Africa

Temperatures vary little throughout the year

Average daily maxima: ~ 32 C (90 F) in the summer and 29 C (84 F) in the winter

Average daily minima: ~ 24 C (75 F) in the summer and 21 C (70 F) in the winter

Wettest months: September to November

Driest months: February to March

Excerpt from:

Buck Island – BVI, Caribbean – Private Islands for Sale

Posted in Private Islands | Comments Off on Buck Island – BVI, Caribbean – Private Islands for Sale

10 of The Worlds Most Bizarre Cults EListMania

Posted: at 11:12 am

10 of The Worlds Most Bizarre Cults

Cults are eerie and carry weird practices which are not welcomed in the day to day routine of the average human being who lives a normal life. A cult can be extreme in nature with rituals that are beyond bizarre to say the least. The followers in certain cases have been known to pay the ultimate price by giving their lives for a belief fabricated by their charismatic ascetics and leaders. Heres a list of some of the worlds most bizarre cults.

The Ordo Templi Orientis(O.T.O), also known as the Order of the Temple of the East and Order of Oriental Templers, is a fraternal international and religious group which was created in the beginning of the 20th century. Aleister Crowley, an English author and a known Satanist occultist is one of the most renowned members of the order.

Initially the cult was anticipated to be modeled after and connected to Freemasonry, a form of a Gnostic Order, however, under the headship of Aleister Crowley; O.T.O has been documented around the Law of Thelma as its fundamental religious principal. This law is expressed as Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law and Love is the law, love under will. These laws for the cult were promulgated in 1904 with the dictation of The Book of the Law.

The O.T.O is well known for practicing Black Magic. The creepy cult is branded to include sexual rituals that are both heterosexual and homosexual in nature. Many of the practices that O.T.O teaches are related to magical orders which enlighten the system of Masonic style of sexual magic. However, the O.T.O still restricts access to its inner secrets. The controversial book, Secret Rituals of the O.T.O, was withdrawn from print by the publisher after receiving a threat of legal action by the O.T.O. Nevertheless, as there has been a growing interest in the writings of Aleister Crowley, his work has been reprinted due to which various new societies have come into existence and have modeled themselves as the new generation of O.T.O.

The Aghori or Aghouri is a Hindu cult that is considered to have split off from the Kapalika order in the fourteenth century AD. Many Hindus condemn the Aghorias non-Hindu due to their cannibalistic rituals. The streets of northern Indian cities are littered with followers of this cult carrying a kapala, which is a cup made from a skull! These bizarre people will eat anything from rotten food to animal faeces. In order to achieve the highest citadel of enlightenment, the Aghori will perform horrendously crude rituals. The finality of their rituals is attained from eating the decaying flesh of a human.

According to Hindu mythology and practiced beliefs, everything emanates from Brahman”. Therefore, there is no evil. The Aghori believe everything to be god itself and to abandon anything would be equivalent of abandoning god. This is the bizarre philosophy followed by the Aghori Babas.

The roots of the Aghori date back to ancient times. An Aghori ascetic who went by the name of Kinaram is responsible for the present-day rituals and beliefs of the cult. Since the Aghori worship lord Shiva with all their fervor, they believe that Kinaram was a reincarnation of lord Shiva.

The Aghori cult dwells on cremation grounds, daubing themselves with the ashes of the corpses and eating from a cranial begging bowl or a kapala. Many Aghori opt to roam around baring all. This is their representation of their detachment from the ways of life that normal people abide by. A strong belief which surrounds them is that by doing so they are above and beyond the normal worldly emotions of human beings.

Ralism is a UFO cult that was formed in 1974 by Claude Vorilhon. The cult is famous for believing that all life on Earth was formed in scientific labs by species of extraterrestrials. Members of this species materialized into the human form when having personal contacts with the humans that they created. They believe that these species were mistaken for angels, cherubim or gods. The cult fervently believes in scientifically advanced humanoid extraterrestrials known by our archaic ancestors as Elohim (meaning: those who came from the sky).

Ralism has been described as the largest UFO religion in the world. Ralism mainly focuses on the social ideology of sexual self-determination, individualism and humanitarianism. Some of the women, who are members of this cult, are strong advocates of refinement and erotic sensualistic activities. They participate in groups within such as Raels Girls and the Order of Angels.

Furthermore, the Ralians believe that the Elohim will visit the Earth authoritatively when more than half of the worlds population is peaceful and come to know about them. They also believe that this has been foretold in nearly all the religious texts as the predicted Age of Apocalypse or Revelation.

From time to time extremely bizarre and weird cults are born. One baffling insertion in the list of bizarre cults is the Sect of the Gadget Hackwrench. The members of this cult believe in a Disney cartoon that is Gadget Hackwrenchfrom the famous the Disney’s Rescue Ranger TV show,as being a divine being. She is considered to be the most untouched and perfect sibling of the great god on Earth. The members of the Gadget Hackwrench cult fervently believe that she is some sort of a goddess. They consider her to be firm, adorable and sanguine and that her degree of technical knowledge is practically unachievable for any existing mortal being. These are just a few of the testimonies of the sect followers.

What is completely bizarre is the fact that this hero or goddess that they believe in is a Disney cartoon. The members of the cult burn candles around a poster size image of the cartoon and chant to her to grant their wishes.

The philosophy of this cult revolves around the fact that it is a combination of every religion possible on the planet. The supposed scetic of the cult is Saint Germain. The founders Guy and Edna Ballard likened themselves to the Illuminati. Guy Ballard had supposedly met this Saint while on a trip to the Mount Shasta in California. It is believed that this cult was based on the premise of destroying the individuality of people. What makes it so creepy is the fact that this cult tries to manipulate the human mind into believing that one has the ability to become a millionaire over night only by using the power of the mind. In other words, proclaiming every follower to be a demigod himself. In the earlier part of the 20th century, the cult had more than a million followers. The followers were made to believe that Ballard was taken to a mystical place while on his trip to California and that his spirit went to a different realm, the realm of Saint Germain. Saint Germain is the main character of worship for the followers. His myths are strikingly hard to swallow. The reason for holding him in such high esteem was due to the fact that the founders claimed he was a direct descendant of Will-I-Am-Shaker-Spear (William Shakespeare), Rasputin and Merlin.

The Body of Christ is a diminutive authoritarian group that focuses on direct revelation and not the Bible for its direction. As of late this cult has been in the news as two children have died pointlessly. Samuel, the ten month old baby of the founders son, Jacques, died of malnutrition. The little baby was not fed, because the cult believed that they were going to get a sign from God to feed him. The other child who died was Jeremiah, son of Rebecca Corneau. The baby died shortly after the mother gave birth. The reason for the death of the baby has been attributed to the lack of medical care provided.

Ten years ago, Dennis Mingo a former member of the cult, left the group. He gave a diary to the police in which he described the deaths of the two babies in depth. Regardless of the effort the police has put into finding the bodies of the children, they have remained to be unsuccessful.

The cult denounces the seven systems of a conventional society. These primarily, include: education, government, banking, religion, medicine, science and entertainment. The members of the group have consistently denied any cooperation with civil and governmental authorities. They have also refused any forms of legal counsel. They have constantly been refusing to assert their primary constitutional right against self-incrimination. This bizarre cult expects that the world will soon erupt in outrageous violence and turmoil, and that they alone will be the sole survivors of the disaster that they predict.

This Japanese cult was created by Hogen Fukunaga. It is often referred to as the foot reading cult, as the founder of this cult believed that he could make a diagnosis by examining peoples feet. The group was created in 1987 after a supposed spiritual event where Fukunaga declared that he was the reincarnation of Jesus Christ and the Buddha.

The Ho Na Hana Sanpoygo cult had nearly 30,000 followers not so long ago. However, Fukunaga charged $900 for the foot readings and a widespread doubt arose that he used money to profit himself. He had been accused of bagging money from housewives which resulted in a massive disproof from the cults followers. Fukunaga had to pay over 200 million yen in damages to followers of the cult who had been swindled.

The Ho Na Hana Sanpoygo declared openly in court, to the people who stood against their practices that their only salvation was to go through the cults expensive training sessions and to buy lucky charms.

The Creativity Movement is a xenophobic and White-supremacist cult which advocates a religion known as the White Religion called Creativity. Though, in the contemporary sense, the cult is Anti-Christian, yet the Creativity Movement is a proxy of Positive Christianity. It is directed by elements of a pseudo-Christian racial mechanism. The cult also denies the Holocaust; it embraces racial neo-eugenics with a religious mission that is devoted to the survival, expansion and the advancement of the White Race completely.

The cult was founded as the Church of the Creator by Ben Klassen in 1973. In the summer of 1993, Klassen committed suicide. After the demise of its creator, Mathew F. Hale led the cult until his incarceration on 8th January, 2003 for scheming with an FBI informant Anthony Evola to murder a federal judge. On 22nd July, 2002, two of the cults followers were found guilty in a federal court of plotting to blow up Jewish and Black landmarks around the area of Boston. The prosecutors deemed this to be a scheme to spark a racial holy war by the cult.

A few of the 16 Commandments of Creativity include: It is our sacred goal to populate the lands of this earth with White people exclusively. Inferior colored races are our deadly enemies, and that the most dangerous of all is the Jewish race. Destroy and banish all Jewish thought and influence from society.

The Iglesia Maradoniana (Spanish for Maradonian Church) was founded by the fans of the retired Argentine footballer, Diego Maradona. The members of this cult believe Maradona to have been the best player of all time. On 30th October 1998, this cult was formed. The day also commemorated the 30th birthday of the athlete. The group held its first official meeting in the year 2001. Today, they reportedly have more than 80,000 members from 60 countries around the globe.

The formation of this cult can be viewed as a type of syncretism. Unlike other normal fan clubs, this cult has many rituals like naming their children Diego to literally worshipping him. Arguably the best footballer to have lived, he is officially a god in Argentina. The passion for the group between its different members is what glues them together. Supporters of the Maradonian Church, allegedly from all corners of the world, count the years since Maradonas birth in 1960. It is very popular amid the followers of this cult and also amongst other football fans, the use of neo-Tetragrammaton D10S as one of the names of Maradona. D10S is a portmanteau word which blends 10 (diez in Spanish), Maradonas shirt number and dios, the Spanish word for god. The cult has its own commandments, one of which states, Spread news of Dieogos miracles and apart from naming your son Diego, it is a commandment as well to change your middle name to Diego.

The cargo cult is primarily a religious practice and has had numerous followers over the years. The term cargo is aimed at obtaining the advancements in technology used in foreign cultures. The cargo cults are bizarre because they believe that the technological advancement man has made over the years is actually their property left to them by their ancestors. So your laptop basically belongs to one of the followers of the cargo cult. These cults thrived in the southwestern Pacific and New Guinea. A substantial increase in the followers came during World War II. Immense logistic support and manpower would throng these islands and hence their beliefs turned into reality. Once the war ended, the ascetics of the cult ordered building of false landing sites and military equipment, so as to keep the gods interested in sending goods their way. The most publicized and prolonged cult is that of John Frum. It started well before the war and still thrives in Tannu, a small Island of Vanuata.

Read more here:

10 of The Worlds Most Bizarre Cults EListMania

Posted in Neo-eugenics | Comments Off on 10 of The Worlds Most Bizarre Cults EListMania