"Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away."
Greetings. We hope you find the articles below interesting. We are including a wide range of articles this week. If you ever come across articles you think may be appropriate for this site we would appreciate your sending them to us. We can't guarantee we will use them, but we have used several articles we have received in the past.
A well known English proverb says; "Coming events cast their shadows before."
"Proverbial Meaning: There are usually warnings or signals when an important event approaches in your life." englishproverbs.org.
A verse out of the book of Proverbs say; "A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished." (Proverbs 22:3)
So God give us the wisdom to be able to "discern the signs of the times." (Matthew 16:3)
Thank God, the long shadow of evil that is increasingly being cast upon the earth is soon to be replaced by the brightness of the coming of the Lord. "And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming." (2 Thessalonians 2:8)
Czech leader is holding the door open for the UK to sink Lisbon
By John Laughland -
04th October 2009
The Irish Yes to the Lisbon Treaty has been greeted with whoops of joy by the European establishment from Cork to Cracow. But the long battle over Lisbon is not over.
The spotlight now falls on the Czech Republic and its President, Vaclav Klaus.
EU elites may have successfully defeated democracy for the fifth time - they overrode the Danish No to Maastricht in 1992, the Irish No to Nice in 2001, and the Dutch and French Nos to the European Constitution (the forerunner of Lisbon) in 2005.
But the Lisbon Treaty still remains unratified in two Central European states - Poland and the Czech Republic.
Tactics: Czech President Vaclav Klaus is delaying ratification of Lisbon
The leaders of both countries have refused to sign the instrument of ratification. President Klaus and President Lech Kaczynski of Poland are personally against Lisbon.
Their excuse for not signing was that there was nothing to sign for as long as at least one other state (Ireland) had not ratified it.
With that excuse now gone, both will face intense pressure from other governments and their own to sign the treaty so that it can enter into force all over the EU.
Mr Klaus's position is the stronger. I have known him for many years. He is probably the most intelligent senior politician in Europe today, combining a fine brain with an even finer political instinct.
He is popular, steely and determined - and he wants the Lisbon Treaty to fail. But it will be a cliffhanger. Last Tuesday, Mr Klaus received unexpected support from 17 Czech senators.
They lodged a fresh appeal against the treaty with the country's Constitutional Court. An appeal lodged last November, on a series of particular points, failed even though Mr Klaus himself vigorously supported it.
This second legal suit is broader. The court has been asked to say exactly what powers can and cannot be transferred to Brussels. Logically, the court should need more time to give its ruling than last time, when it took five months.
A similar appeal was lodged in January in Germany. Opponents of Lisbon there argued that the treaty undermined Germany's self-government and democracy.
The German Constitutional Court partly agreed, saying that Lisbon could be ratified only on condition that the German Parliament passed a special law reaffirming its rights to veto EU law.
This has now happened and Germany finally ratified Lisbon last month.
But Euro-sceptics in the Czech Republic hope that their Constitutional Court might do something similar and that a new law would have to be passed in Prague, too. All this will take time - which is exactly what Mr Klaus wants.
For the Czech President is playing a political game while claiming that he is only following legal procedures. And the reason why he wants time lies in Britain.
Last week, David Cameron wrote to Mr Klaus confirming his party's promise to hold a referendum in Britain on Lisbon if the treaty is still unratified in at least one member state if - or most likely when - the Tories come to power.
There was intense interest in this letter in the Czech Press, but Mr Klaus has refused to publish it. He hopes that he can spin out the legal and political review process until there is a change of government in Britain and a referendum here.
He is supported in this by the Czech people, over 50 per cent of whom are also against Lisbon.
Some people say the court could take six months to rule. Others point out that the judges will be lobbied hard to deliver a quick verdict to prevent Mr Klaus's game from working. Last week, the German Ambassador in Prague met the president of the court - a highly irregular step - and presumably discussed the treaty.
The British Tories and the Czech conservatives are old allies - Mr Klaus is a long-term admirer and friend of Margaret Thatcher.
In 2003, the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) he founded co-signed with the Tories a 'Prague declaration' promising a referendum in their respective countries on the European constitution (of which the Lisbon Treaty is but a rewrite in impenetrable language).
The ODS reneged on its promise, just as Labour did in Britain, when the constitution was repackaged as the Lisbon Treaty. So far, the Tories are sticking to theirs.
More recently, following June's European elections, Mr Cameron's Conservatives finally withdrew from the federalist European People's Party group in the European Parliament (dominated by the German Christian Democrats) and they now sit in a new group with the ODS and the Polish Law And Justice Party, which is headed by the Polish President's twin brother.
So a British-Czech-Polish Eurosceptic axis has been created, which may yet defeat the latest push towards EU centralisation.
But, as the Duke of Wellington said of the Battle of Waterloo, it will be a damn close-run thing.
John Laughland is author of The Tainted Source: The Undemocratic Origins Of The European Idea.
Money and Markets
World Bank and IMF join global attack on the dollar!
by Larry Edelson
In my emails to you over the past couple of weeks, I've shown you why Washington has no choice but to devalue the dollar -- and how global leaders and even the United Nations have joined the attack on the greenback by demanding it be replaced as the world's reserve currency.
Now, just this week, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have begun adding their voices to the international choir calling for a new global reserve currency:
Last week, World Bank President Robert Zoellick warned that the dollar's status will be challenged and shouldn't be taken for granted.
According to Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, it's likely that the role of special drawing rights (SDRs) based on a basket of currencies will be discussed as an alternative to the dollar during meetings of the World Bank and IMF in Istanbul next week.
Meanwhile, global governments, central banks, companies and investors continue to slash their dollar holdings. According to the IMF, in April through June of this year, the greenback's share of global currency reserves fell to the lowest level in a decade. Holdings of euros, in contrast, rose to a new all-time record high.
All this adds weight and momentum to the devaluation of the dollar. It is DEFINITELY ON THE TABLE. Indeed, for the first time I can remember, the G-7 finance officials, meeting this weekend, are rumored to be breaking with tradition and choosing not to release a statement on the global economy and currencies.
I feel this is an extremely significant development: At last week's G-20 meeting, the group officially anointed itself as being in charge of global economic affairs.
Plus, we now have the G-7 refusing to discuss the dollar, which is highly unusual. Many will say that, if the G-7 does indeed refuse to comment on the dollar at this weekend's meeting, it's merely a sign they're beginning to turn the reigns over to the G-20 for currency matters.
Baloney! The G-7 WILL discuss the huge "global economic imbalances" in the world. And to me, that's code talk for a currency devaluation on the agenda. Members of the G-7 ARE discussing it. They're just NOT doing it in public.
Russia Today -
Gerald Celente: The Dollar is Finished
October 8, 2009
If the dollar collapses, it would spell economic disaster not just for the United States, but for the world, says Gerald Celente, director of the Trade Research Institute.
"It is more than just the demise of the dollar - this is going to be felt worldwide. There's a major financial crisis ahead. The United States, the world's superpower, is failing on its most basic level," Celente told RT.
And the reason for the future demise of the American currency, Celente says, is the disproportionate financial system:
"We can't print money out of thin air, backed by nothing and producing practically nothing."
The researcher believes the crisis of the dollar is irreversible, since America is losing its gold - the value of its currency.
IBM Builds 'Bar Code Reader' for DNA
October 06, 2009
Jeremy A. Kaplan
Imagine a world where medicine is guaranteed not to cause adverse reactions because it's designed for an individual's DNA.
Imagine a diet tailored to the precise speed of a person's metabolism. Using a little microelectronics, a little physics, and no small dose of biology, IBM has brought that futuristic world a little bit closer.
The DNA Transistor is a project from IBM Research that aims to advance personalized medicine, by making it simpler (and much cheaper) to read an individual's unique DNA sequence -- the special combination of proteins that makes you unlike anyone else.
The technology isn't finished yet, but its potential is tantalizing enough that IBM wanted to share it with the world. And the company claims researchers are making progress.
Essentially a bar code reader for genes, the DNA Transistor is part technique and part device. It consists of a 3-nanometer wide hole, known as a nanopore, in a silicon microchip. A sensor in the pore can read DNA and determine its unique makeup.
The challenge scientists face is controlling the rate at which a strand moves through that nanopore: A DNA molecule needs to spend enough time in it for the sequencing to work. By cycling voltages to the transistor's poles, IBM aims to move the DNA through the nanopore at a consistent rate one nucleotide (molecule of DNA) at a time.
The company's researchers are currently investigating various housings for the pore as well, honing the multilayer (metal and dielectric) nano-structures to move samples through more evenly.
"The technologies that make reading DNA fast, cheap and widely available have the potential to revolutionize bio-medical research and herald an era of personalized medicine," said IBM research scientist Gustavo Stolovitzky. "Ultimately, it could improve the quality of medical care by identifying patients who will gain the greatest benefit from a particular medicine and those who are most at risk of adverse reaction."
Windows 7 Will Let Microsoft Track Your Every Move
By Scott Gilbertson
November 7, 2008
From FireEagle to iPhone apps that use your current location, everyone it seems is racing to get on the geo-aware software bandwagon. So far most geo-aware features have been opt-in and offer reasonable privacy controls (FireEagle is a good example of this), but Microsoft's upcoming Windows 7 plans to offer developers location tools at the operating system level and the company doesn't seem to think users care about control or privacy.
Before you freak out at the thought that Redmond will soon be tracking your every move, keep in mind that the new features will be disabled by default. That's the good news.
The bad news is that if you turn the geo features on, there are very few controls available and, yes, Microsoft could easily track your every move. Now you can freak out.
According to CNet, which saw a demo of the new geo features, once the service is turned on, there are only two means of limiting the geo-tracking -- you can either limit to a specific user, or you can limit it to just traditional applications (rather than services running in the background).
But here's the essential problem: If you enable the geo-tracking for say, a restaurant searching app in your gadgets collection, there's no way to stop other apps from accessing your location as well. It's an all or nothing feature.
While geo-aware locations are certain a hot item in the software world right now, they're also at the heart of many ongoing privacy debates. Unfortunately Microsoft's new feature is exactly the sort of thing that turns people's mild suspicions into full, raging paranoia.
Here's Microsoft's explanation for why the geo-tracking will not offer much control. It's also the paranoid's greatest fear in a nutshell:
The reason, Microsoft officials say, is that Windows doesn't have a reliable means of determining that an application is what it says it is, so any attempt to limit the location to a specific application would be easily spoofable.
So the short story is Windows 7 has geo-tracking features, but aside from turning them on and off, you have basically no control.
That strikes us as a recipe for disaster and something that will eventually blow up in Microsoft's face (whether justified or not) because geo-tracking is a very sensitive issue and this implementation seems entirely ham-fisted and ill-conceived. Of course it's a little better than past attempts by the company, which don't even offer an on/off switch.
But why, for the love of all thing sane, would Microsoft not at least offer to notify you when an app is trying access geo-information? Indeed, that would be a good start. Then add the ability to deny the application access and you're getting to the useful stage. Unfortunately, Microsoft reps tell CNet that such controls are "not currently on Microsoft's roadmap for Windows 7."
CNet's report comes from the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference happening this week in Los Angeles and cites several reps from hardware vendors who don't seem to think users care about privacy controls -- because it's too complicated. There may be some truth to that, but we suspect, as geo-tracking features become more widespread and people start to realize what they are capable of, people are going to care.
The only real saving grace is that Window 7 remains in the active development stage and there's no telling what the finished product will really look like. But that said, we think the geo-tracking capabilities are off to rocky start. No doubt the company would love to be able to offer advertisers location-specific ads that target niche areas, but will users stand for it?
Scientists discover massive ring around Saturn
October 7, 2009
CNN) -- Scientists at NASA have discovered a nearly invisible ring around Saturn -- one so large that it would take 1 billion Earths to fill it.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has spotted a massive, nearly invisible ring around Saturn.
The ring's orbit is tilted 27 degrees from the planet's main ring plane. The bulk of it starts about 3.7 million miles (6 million km) away from the planet and extends outward another 7.4 million miles (12 million km).
Its diameter is equivalent to 300 Saturns lined up side to side. And its entire volume can hold one billion Earths, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory said late Tuesday.
"This is one supersized ring," said Anne Verbiscer, an astronomer at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
Verbiscer and two others are authors of a paper about the discovery published Wednesday in the journal Nature.
The obvious question: Why did it take scientists so long to discover something so massive?
The ring is made up of ice and dust particles that are so far apart that "if you were to stand in the ring, you wouldn't even know it," Verbiscer said in a statement.
Also, Saturn doesn't receive a lot of sunlight, and the rings don't reflect much visible light.
But the cool dust -- about 80 Kelvin (minus 316 degrees Fahrenheit) -- glows with thermal radiation. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, used to spot the ring, picked up on the heat.
One of Saturn's moons, Phoebe, orbits within the ring. As Phoebe collides with comets, it kicks up planetary dust. Scientists believe the ice and dust particles that make up the ring stems from those collisions.
The ring may also help explain an age-old mystery surrounding another of Saturn's moons: Iapetus.
Astronomer Giovanni Cassini, who first spotted Iapetus in 1671, deduced the moon has a white and dark side -- akin to a yin-yang symbol. But scientists did not know why.
The new ring orbits in the opposite direction to Iapetus. And, say researchers, it's possible that the moon's dark coloring is a result of the ring's dust particles splattering against Iapetus like bugs on a windshield.
"Astronomers have long suspected that there is a connection between Saturn's outer moon Phoebe and the dark material on Iapetus," said Douglas Hamilton of the University of Maryland in College Park -- one of the three authors reporting on the findings in the journal Nature.
"This new ring provided convincing evidence of that relationship."
The Death of Multitasking and Rebirth of Unitasking
By Steven Aitchison, 10/01/2009
How many times have you heard someone say, "I get so much done because I am able to multitask"? Usually said with a smug little grin. Whilst it has been a popular thing to be able to attempt, multitasking is on its way out of our lives, that is if we really do want to become more efficient and productive.
It has been shown in numerous studies that people who try and multitask actually lose efficiency and productivity levels drop. The guy on the phone, checking his emails whilst telling their work colleague what to do may be doing three things at once; however, he is doing three things at once very badly and not efficiently enough to be doing the job correctly.
Studies by Professor David Meyer at University of Michigan showed that young adults who had to perform two math tasks, back and forth, showed that it took longer doing the tasks this way than it would have if they had done them separately.
Whilst unitasking has always been advocated in the past, it kind of died out when the birth of multitasking came into popular culture in the last 10-15 years. Multitasking was a phrase first used in 1966 to describe a computer performing more than one task at a time. Since then it has come to be synonymous with busy people on the go with a phone stuck to their ear, a baby on one arm, reading email and stirring a pot of pasta. It just doesn't work and it's only recently that scientists are telling us the same thing.
Our brains are wired to focus on one task at time. Professor Earl Miller, a neuroscientist at the world-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology, carried out a study whereby he scanned volunteers' heads while they performed different tasks. He found that when there was a lot of visual objects in front of volunteers, only one or two objects tended to activate the brain. This means that the volunteers could only focus on one or two objects at any given time.
Multitasking can literally cause stress. Due to the amount of time multitaskers take to flit between one job and another, they become less efficient and their brain literally slows down. So now we have a situation when all the tasks have not been completed, due to the brain slowing down, which causes stress levels to rise, which in turn leads to mistakes being made and stress levels rise even more. So it's no wonder that we feel frantic when we try to do too many things at once.
Now that the science bit is out of the way, it's time to concentrate on unitasking.
Clear your space. Tidy desk--tidy mind, that's my motto. It's a strange thing but when our work desks are cleared, our minds seem clearer and become more focused on the task at hand. If your desk is very untidy and has paper, reports, books, magazines, stats lying all over it, your brain momentarily picks this up when you are not working. So when you get to working you could be thinking 'I've got that report to finish, I need to finish those stats, I need to show Steve that article in the magazine'. We still have lots of information to contend with in our minds. Whereas if our desk is completely free from clutter we are much more likely to focus and get the task at hand completed. This is also true at home, tidy house--tidy mind.
Clear your desktop. Another great clearing exercise is to clean up your desktop. Get those Word documents in one folder or categorize them and put them in a folder. Be sure to give your files good memorable names so you can search for them in the future. Don't name a file '1' as you will never be able to find it again in a year's time, give it a proper name like 'stats for week beginning 24th august 2009' and name all subsequent, similar, files in the same way. Put all your downloads into one folder as well so you don't clutter up your desktop.
Put a calming picture as your background. This is easy, just go onto Google type in a scene you have in mind into the search field, hit enter, click on images, go to advanced image search and choose the dropdown 'large file sizes' and you will get a decent sized photograph to put on your desktop as your background.
Don't open any programs that are not necessary. Just have your main program open and reward yourself by checking your emails and web browser when you have completed the task at hand.
Turn off the phones and instant messaging. If you can, divert your phones to another number or turn them off altogether and make sure you have voicemail on so callers can leave a message. Again, intrusions like the phone can cause you to lose track of what you are doing and it takes time for you to re-focus on the task at hand. Constant interruptions like this will almost guarantee that the report you were trying to complete will not get done until tomorrow and by that time you will feel a lot more stressed.
Tell others your intentions. If you have a lot of work colleagues coming up to your desk, tell them in advance that you need to finish an important task and for them not to interrupt if possible. Make light of it but make sure they know you are serious. Better yet, hide yourself in a room where they won't usually look for you, this way you will get a lot more done.
Cardinal Pell Shares "Dangerous Ideas"
OCT. 5, 2009 (Zenit.org).- In a packed Sydney Opera House studio Sunday evening, Cardinal George Pell confronted the myth of modern atheism in the first ever Festival of Dangerous Ideas.
The archbishop of Sydney gave a conference titled "Without God We Are Nothing," shortly after one of the most prominent exponents of modern atheism, British journalist Christopher Hitchens, presented the claim that "Religion Poisons Everything."
The cardinal stated that although there are many people, including anti-theists and provocateurs, who regard God as an enemy, recent developments in physics and biology have strengthened the case for God, reported the Archdiocese of Sydney in a press statement.
He noted, however, that despite the affirmations of science, God cannot be contained within that field's framework since he is outside space and time.
The prelate affirmed that "the God for which we are arguing is not a God of the gaps, not a God who is brought in to paste over the gaps in our present scientific knowledge, which might be filled later as science progresses."
Rather, he said, this God explains "the whole of the universe, which is not self-explanatory, including the infrastructure and elements we understand scientifically."
Cardinal Pell made reference to Antony Flew, a philosopher who converted from atheism, who affirmed, "How can a universe of mindless matter produce beings with intrinsic ends, self replication capabilities and 'coded chemistry?''
The cardinal pointed out that science involves the study of physical bodies such as sub-atomic particles, but to answer the question of why these particles exist, the inquirer must move from physics to metaphysics, and find the solution in philosophy.
Only 17% of people do not accept the existence of God, the prelate affirmed, striking down the claim that "most Australians are godless."
The reason God is not spoken of in society, he said, is the current secularist hostility to Christianity.
"Often God gets caught up in the secular hostility to the Christian defense of human life, especially at the beginning and end, the Christian defense of marriage, family and the linking of sexuality to love and life," Cardinal Pell affirmed.
He added: "Here in these culture wars lies the origin for most of the hatred of God and religion, while the new violence of a minority of Islamist terrorists has given Western secularists new grounds to attack all religions.
"However it is much safer to attack Christians!"
In conclusion, the prelate stated that he is personally intrigued at the fact that there are so many people in the Western world today who are "unable to believe," especially those with a Christian or Jewish cultural background.
He said, "For me the issue is too important" to be subjected to self-indulgence or left on the level of polemics.
"I will continue to believe in the one true God of love because I maintain that no atheist can explain the smile of a child," Cardinal Pell affirmed.
He noted that in this light, current natural disasters such as the recent tsunami "also reminds us brutally of the problem of innocent suffering."
"But such suffering is worse if there is no afterlife to balance the scales of misfortune and injustice," he asserted, "and worse again if there is no innocence or guilt, no good or evil, if everything has the moral significance of froth on a wave."
The cardinal affirmed once again, "Without God we are nothing."
The Bible tells us we are going to be involved in a different type of rain in the not too distant future, at the sounding of the trumpet of the seventh angel signaling the end of the tribulation. This is the beginning of the 'reign' of Jesus Christ on earth. "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever." (Revelation 11:15)
An interesting point is that Jesus will not reign on His own, but all of us who have received Him as our saviour will be helping Him do the job as Revelation 5:10, makes clear; "And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth." (Revelation 5:10)
We just need to make sure we have received Him. "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." (Hebrews 9:12)
If you have questions regarding your position in the world to come, you are invited to write us or study the classes on the web site. As always, you are invited to write one of our Christian mystics regarding anything that may be on your heart.
Have a faith filled week ahead!
"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."
(1 Corinthians 2:9)