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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

It’s all in the genes...including the tracking device

Parentage-based tagging (PBT) is an emerging genetic-based fish tagging method that involves genotyping hatchery broodstock. PBT is a passive non-invasive approach to stock identification because the parents, not the offspring, are genetically sampled at spawning, thereby "tagging" the offspring. This method provides the same information as traditional physical tags but also allows for collection of more detailed information that previously was impossible or impractical to gather using traditional tagging methods.

According to the article published today in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences: "This study in the Snake River basin is one of the first large-scale implementations of PBT in salmonids and lays the foundation for adopting this technology more broadly, thereby allowing the unprecedented ability to mark millions of smolts and an opportunity to address a variety of fisheries-based research and management questions."

Genetically tagging hatchery-reared fish using PBT is extremely efficient because genotyping hundreds of broodstock parents results in millions of tagged offspring. When fully implemented, PBT can "tag" 100% of hatchery-origin fish.

"The role of genetic methods in fisheries management has reached a milestone," says Craig Steele, a researcher at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game's Fish Genetics Laboratory in Eagle, Idaho, and lead author of the study. "The main application of this technology is to provide information on the origin and age of hatchery fish. But it can also provide additional information relevant to conservation and management efforts including assessments of genetic diversity, relative reproductive success, and the heritability of different physical or behavioral traits."

Since 2008, a regional sampling effort by collaborating state, tribal, and federal agencies has resulted in the implementation of this genetic tagging approach in hatchery-origin steelhead and spring-summer Chinook in the Snake River Basin. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) and the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) verified the accuracy of this new approach and presented the results of their collaborative study in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.

The IDFG is committed to adopting PBT as a tool for fisheries management. Collaborative efforts with CRITFC are now underway to expand genetic sampling outside the Snake River Basin and throughout the Columbia River Basin. Adopting this genetic approach for large-scale fisheries management positions the region among the first to use this cutting-edge technology.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-06-genesincluding-tracking-device.html#jCp

Inside the room where no one can hear you scream

An awe-inspiring exhibition that captures the unintentional beauty of some of the world's foremost scientific research facilities has launched.

It features the anechoic chambers at the Technical University of Denmark and the Four Solaire in the French Pyrenees - two of the most advanced engineering feats of modern history.

The chambers - which are designed to completely absorb sound waves - have rarely been seen as space scientists have tested state-of-the-art satellite equipment in them since first opening in 1967.

An awe-inspiring exhibition that captures the unintentional beauty of some of the world's foremost scientific research facilities has launched. It features the anechoic chambers at the Technical University of Denmark

The inside of the chambers have rarely been seen as space scientists have tested state-of-the-art satellite equipment in them since first opening in 1967

Pictured is the door to the chamber. The images are part of an exhibition being held at Copenhagen's Gallery Etage Project

The room prevents sound waves from bouncing around thanks to the unique shape of the walls

Inside the anechoic chamber at the Technical University of Denmark. The sci-fi looking anechoic chambers are designed to completely absorb sound waves

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2347330/The-unintentional-beauty-Science-Awe-inspiring-exhibition-captures-ingenuity-mankind-stunning-images-research-units.html#ixzz2XFDXHZgE

ZENITH 2016 Part Number 11

In the first entry of this series we discussed the Fourth Turning and the threat of a true constitutional crises in the United States by the year 2016.

Mirroring the premise of the Fourth Turning is a controversial Mormon prophecy ascribed to Joseph Smith. The 1843 divination is called the “White Horse Prophecy” and is named after the White Horse of the book of Revelation. It predicts a time when the US Constitution will be in crisis only to be saved by a member of the LDS (Latter Day Saints, more commonly called “Mormons”). If Mitt Romney runs again for president in 2016 (barring any end-run around the Twenty-Second Amendment to the United States Constitution by Obama), the controversial prediction allegedly made by Mormonism’s founder could have a disturbing way of coming to pass.

According to history, after their expulsion from Missouri in 1838, the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith traveled to Washington, DC where he made an appeal to the national government for redress of wrongs suffered in that state. Judge Elias Higbee traveled with him and they were met by leading statesmen of the United States including “Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, President Martin Van Buren, different members of the Cabinet, Senators, and Representatives.”[i] After hearing their grievances, Van Buren admitted their cause was just, but said that he could do nothing about it lest he lose the vote in Missouri. Smith found this outrageous, and uttered divine judgments against the United States Government. Mormon historian, Marvin S. Hill, wrote of this: “To secure legal sanction for his call to arms, Smith petitioned Congress to form Nauvoo [a small city established by early Mormons in Hancock County, Illinois, along a great bend in the Mississippi River] into a federal district and grant him authority to command federal troops in defense of the city. He warned his closest friends [in the Nauvoo City Council] that ‘if Congress will not hear our petition and grant us protection, they will be broken up as a government, and God shall damn them, and there shall be nothing left of them—not even a grease spot.’”[ii] Approximately four years later, Smith prophesied again, this time speaking of a day when the US Constitution would “hang by a thread” and would barely be “preserved and saved” by a rider of a White Horse or representative of theMormon Church. The “White Horse Prophecy,” as it has come to be known, bares a dubious distinction because it was not given in public but rests mostly on the testimonies of two other Mormons—Edwin Rushton and Theodore Turley—who wrote it down as Smith delivered the prophecy at his home in May, 1843. The following year, Smith would run as an independent candidate against James Polk and Whig Henry Clay for the presidency of the United States. At that time he was advocating the overthrow of the US government and its replacement by a Mormon-led theocracy with himself as leader of “the army of God,” but his hopes were cut short when he and his brother Hyrum were attacked and killed by a mob. While the White Horse prophecy he gave (which, also of contemporary interest, states that “the two Popes, Greek and Catholic, will come together and be united”[iii]) is not considered undisputable by all Mormons, it has, at least in part, been repeatedly affirmed as genuine in general conference messages, including in October 1918, when the sixth LDS President, Joseph F. Smith, said, “Joseph Smith, the prophet…predicted that the time would come, when the Constitution of our country would hang as it were by a thread, and that the Latter-day Saints above all other people in the world would come to the rescue of that great and glorious palladium of our liberty.”[iv]

Other famous Mormons that have spoken in favor of the White Horse Prophecy include:

In 1855, Brigham Young declared at the Tabernacle in Salt Lake: “When the Constitution of the United States hangs, as it were, upon a single thread, they will have to call for the Mormon Elders to save it from utter destruction; and they will step forth and do it.”[v]

Again in 1868, Young stated: “How long will it be before the words of the prophet Joseph will be fulfilled? He said if the Constitution of the United States were saved at all it must be done by this people. It will not be many years before these words come to pass.”[vi]

The Mormon Apostle, J. Reuben Clark, repeated this belief again in a 1942 conference message, saying, “You and I have heard all our lives that the time may come when the Constitution may hang by a thread. I do not know whether it is a thread, or a small rope by which it now hangs, but I do know that whether it shall live or die is now in the balance.”[vii]

In 1961, Mormon Apostle Ezra Taft Benson, who would later become the thirteenth President of the LDS, agreed, saying, “The Lord told the Prophet Joseph Smith there would be an attempt to overthrow the country by destroying the Constitution. Joseph Smith predicted that the time would come when the Constitution would hang, as it were, by a thread, and at that time ‘this people will step forth and save it from the threatened destruction.’”[viii]

Two years later, Benson mentioned the prophecy again as he addressed the conference: “The Prophet Joseph Smith said the time would come when the Constitution would hang as it were by a thread. Modern-day prophets for the last thirty years have been warning us that we have been rapidly moving in that direction. Fortunately, the Prophet Joseph Smith saw the part the elders of Israel [Mormons] would play in this crisis. Will there be some of us who won’t care about saving the Constitution, others who will be blinded by the craftiness of men, and some who will knowingly be working to destroy it? He that has ears to hear and eyes to see can discern by the Spirit and through the words of God’s mouthpiece that our liberties are being taken.”[ix]

The list above goes on and on among various Mormons throughout history that have held the prophecy of a constitutional crisis and its salvation via a Mormon to be true. In more recent years, Utah Senator Orrin Hatch made an oblique reference to the prophecy during his year 2000 bid for the US presidency, saying, “I’ve never seen it worse than this, where the Constitution literally is hanging by a thread,”[x] and talk-show host, Glenn Beck, mentioned the “hang by a thread” portion of the White Horse Prophecy when he was on the Bill O’Reilly show on November 14, 2008.[xi]

This brings us to the present hour. The clock is ticking down toward the year 2016 when some expect a constitutional crisis to unfold right in time for a Mormon savior to appear on his white horse.[xii] Romney has already made his 2016 presidential ambitions public,[xiii] and he isn’t just any Mormon. He is the miracle baby of a woman who was told by her doctor she could never bear a fourth child. Born anyway in 1947, he became the star-child of George W. Romney, the most prominent Mormon in American politics (as governor of Michigan) and a seventh-generation direct descendant of Parley Parker Pratt, Sr., one of Mormonism’s founding twelve apostles. Named after the close family friend John Willard Marriott (one of the richest Mormons in history), Romney received his patriarchal blessing at nineteen years of age and was told by the Church that the Lord expected great things from him. Shortly thereafter, while helping his mother (Lenore Romney) in the 1970 campaign against Democrat Phillip A. Hart in the Michigan general election, “Mitt” Romney—as he was then being called and whose name can be made to equal 666—began hearing prophetic insinuations about his future role as a national leader. This included whispers among Mormons about the White Horse Prophecy, as author Sally Denton noted for Salon Magaine:

That same year [1970], the Cougar Club—the all male, all white social club at Brigham Young University in Salt Lake City (blacks were excluded from full membership in the Mormon church until 1978)—was humming with talk that its president, Mitt Romney, would become the first Mormon president of the United States. “If not Mitt, then who?” was the ubiquitous slogan within the elite organization. The pious world of BYU was expected to spawn the man who would lead the Mormons into the White House and fulfill the [White Horse] prophecies of the church’s founder, Joseph Smith Jr., which Romney has avidly sought to realize. (emphasis added)[xiv]

Though Romney has publically sought to downplay the White Horse Prophecy whenever raised in media,[xv] he is aware that fellow students at BYU not only idolized him as the “alpha male” of their fraternity but commonly referred to him as “the One Mighty and Strong”—a direct line from the prophecy by Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of the Latter Day Saints. This grandiose and prophetic title is taken from Isaiah 28:2, “The Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand.” Smith predicted this Mighty and Strong One would not only save the US Constitution but use his political office to bring about the “inheritances of the [Latter Day] Saints.” What that implies could be of significance for the future of the United States according to former candidate for Nevada governor and television newsman, Mike Moody.

As a young man, Moody was a personal friend of Romney and a member of the prestigious Cougar Club at Brigham Young University that held “Mitt” in such prophetic esteem. In his memoir, Mitt—Set Our People Free, he describes how the White Horse Prophecy motivated him personally “to seek a career in government and politics” because he believed that he and other Mormons were being divinely directed to expand the Mormon “kingdom” by helping Romney—whom he says is under a sacred blood-oath to the Mormon Church to actually replace the US Constitution—to advance the goal of a one-world government under Mormon paternalistic priesthoods and the “political Kingdom of God and Joseph Smith’s version of the Millennial Kingdom on Earth.”[xvi]

“We were taught that America is the Promised Land,” Moody told me on the phone, adding that, “the Mormons believe they are the Chosen People and that the time has come for a Mormon leader to usher in the second coming of Christ and a political Kingdom of God in Washington, DC.”[xvii]

After our discussion, Moody mailed me a copy of his book, Mitt—Set Our People Free, and I found it to be an intriguing and rare insight into Mormon theology and philosophy. I was already familiar with the LDS belief involving pre-mortal existence where they, as “spirit children,” existed in heaven and were sent by God to Earth to go through trials in bodies of flesh in order to be perfected like the Father. That is to say, following their time on this planet, worthy Mormons may also become gods and rule over their own worlds where they—just like the God of the Bible—can be served and worshipped throughout eternity by lesser humans (you and me) who fail to attain such divinity. What I had not realized, however, was the extent to which some Mormons—including those devoted to Mitt Romney—saw their place in the deity-building scheme unfolding within American politics. Early in his work, Moody reflects this creed when republishing personal correspondence between himself and the 2016 presidential hopeful. In his open letter to Romney, the former Mormon says:

At eighteen, my Patriarchal Blessing rattled through my brain like a coronation and a call to arms. Patriarch J. Harold Brinley laid his hands on my head in 1963 and told me I was a valiant, true son in the preexistence with important earthly responsibilities. He said when I raised my voice in defense of the truth [Mormonism] the Lord would magnify and enhance me in the eyes of my fellow men. The instructions in my blessing, which I believed came directly from Jesus, motivated me to seek a career in government and politics… My foreordained destiny had called me, and the words of my blessing swelled in my chest. I did my duty to the Mormon Gods and ran for Governor to expand our kingdom and help you [Romney] lead the world into the Millennium.”[xviii]


Iran secretly building in Port Sudan military supply base for Syria, Hizballah

A logistics base for handling tanks, missile systems, self-propelled artillery and other heavy weaponry bound for Syria and Hizballah is secretly under construction in a section of Port Sudan which Omar al Bashir has leased to Tehran, DEBKAfile reports exclusively from its military sources.

Iranian Revolutionary Guards engineers in civilian dress are overseeing the hundreds of Sudanese workmen laboring flat out to build Iran’s second Red Sea base after Assab in southern Eritrea.
As a safeguard against an Israeli strike, the new Iranian facility abuts directly on Port Sudan's oil exporting installations, through which South Sudan, Israel’s ally, exports its oil, the new republic’s only source of revenue which also pays for its purchases of Israeli arms.

To give the military port a civilian aspect and suggest that Iranian warships no longer visit the port, Tehran has switched to commercial cargo vessels and oil tankers for delivering weapons for its Syrian and Hizballah allies through Port Sudan.

Still, Western intelligence sources watching the work are certain that the new Iranian facility is a military port in every sense of the word. It is similar to the Russian naval base built at the Syrian port of Tartus, except for being twice as large and capable of accommodating Iran’s largest war ships as well as submarines. Tehran is taking advantage of the strong military and intelligence ties it has developed with Sudan’s ruler Bashir for streamlining the weapons supply route to its embattled allies.
The Iranian section of the port has a fence with watchtowers and will soon acquire air defense systems. It is guarded by Revolutionary Guards sentries wearing civilian clothes and Sudanese soldiers.
The new facility will enable Iran to transfer larger shipments of heavier weapons than the air corridor used until now to drop military equipment for the Syrian and Hizballah armies. The light and medium hardware will continue to be delivered by air, but the sea route for the heavy stuff will be cut in half by the large weapons depot the Iranians are building at the Sudanese Red Sea port.
This will make it possible to ship items to their destination from the Red Sea through Suez and on to the Mediterranean to meet needs arising urgently from war crises in Syria or potential conflicts with Israel.
Neither the US, Egypt or Israel has so far interfered with Iranian arms freighters navigating the Suez Canal on their way to Syria and the Lebanese Hizballah.

The Israeli Air Force has in the past struck four weapons convoys or targets in the Port Sudan area – two each in 2009 and in 2012.

China stocks hit by credit crunch fears

Chinese stocks touched a four-and-a-half-year low on Tuesday amid persistent concerns over the government's credit-tightening policy.

The Shanghai Composite SSE index fell as much as 5.8% at one point, before a late rally meant it ended down 0.3%.

The rebound came after China's central bank said that it would guide market rates down to "reasonable" levels.

Last week, the bank indicated that the era of cheap credit was over, helping to trigger falls on global markets.

Controlling credit

After the global financial crisis in 2008-09, China unleashed a huge monetary stimulus in an attempt to boost economic growth.

While the credit boom helped cushion the impact of the crisis on its economy, it led to concern that too much cheap cash had flooded its financial system.

There have been calls for China to contain this credit boom and also to reduce its reliance on credit and investment-led growth. 

Shanghai Composite Index  LAST UPDATED AT 25 JUN 2013, 07:50 GMT
valuechange%1959.51 -
-3.73 -

In recent days the PBOC temporarily turned off the flow of cheap money in an attempt to impose more discipline on its banks and reduce their reliance on credit.

That resulted in China's banks - mostly state-owned - charging each other some of the highest lending rates ever - over 25% in some cases - triggering fears of a credit crunch.

There were fears that the money markets could freeze up completely and put smaller lenders out of business as a result of the central bank's drastic move.

But inter-bank lending rates eased on Monday as PBOC made it clear big commercial banks should do a better job of managing their cash reserves and keep lending to smaller players


‘Destruction all around’: Hundreds dead, tens of thousands missing in India monsoon

Early monsoon rains have swept northern India, causing floods and landslides, killing at least 1,000 and leaving tens of thousands missing, officials report. About 100 towns and villages remain cut off since Sunday, and the death toll is expected to rise.

Many of the missing are pilgrims and tourists that were at the foothills of the Himalayas at the Ganges river, which is sacred to Hindus, at the time the disaster struck.

Buildings, cars and trucks along the banks of the river have been swept away or flooded.

Thousands of troops have been deployed to assist in the rescue operations, and the air force has dispatched helicopters to pick up survivors.

Soldiers stop survivors from going near an army helicopter as its lands during rescue operations at Badrinath in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand June 21, 2013 (Reuters/Danish Siddiqu)

Around 34,000 people have been rescued from the area, and 50,000 are still stranded in 100 towns and villages in the Himalayan state of Uttrakhand, Home Affairs Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters.

Northern India has been experiencing monsoon rains since Sunday. Authorities have dispatched emergency trains to the devastated areas to rescue people.

"Whatever is humanly possible is being done," Reuters quoted Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari as saying.

Rescue workers use excavators to scour the debris for survivors at the site of a collapsed residential building in Mumbra, in Thane district, on the outskirts of Mumbai June 21, 2013 (Reuters/Vivek Prakash)

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said that the state will provide financial support from its national relief fund, with US$3,400 to be given to families who lost members, US$840 to those suffering injuries, and financial support provided to those who lost their homes.

The prime minister also pledged US$167 million to Uttarakhand, the hardest-hit state.

Hundreds of people came out in Uttrakhand’s capital Dehradun to search for missing relatives and express discontent with what they believe is the government’s slow response to the disaster. Witnesses told AP that authorities were not efficient at evacuating survivors and lacked appropriately-sized vehicles to transport large numbers people at a time.

"There was destruction all around", said 50-year-old housewife Jasveer Kaur after she was evacuated."It was a nightmare."

A body lies amid damaged surroundings by flood waters near Kedarnath Temple at Rudraprayag in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand June 20, 2013. (Reuters)

Google has launched its Person Finder application to help people locate and trace missing individuals.

World leaders are offering their help to India to tackle the aftermath of the disaster. Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences on the heavy death toll and severe damage and offered Russia’s support in tackling the consequences, the Kremlin press service stated.

The monsoon rains have now alleviated, though more are expected next week.

Heavy rain is important for planting season in India, but if the floods continue, then sowing season may be delayed, and crops already been planted put at risk.

Indian disaster relief personnel assist an elderly woman into an ambulance after being evacuated from flood-hit areas at the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, state capital of Uttarakhand on June 21, 2013. (AFP Photo)

Rescue workers use excavators to scour the debris for survivors at the site of a collapsed residential building in Mumbra, in Thane district, on the outskirts Mumbai June 21, 2013. (Reuters/Vivek Prakash)

Indian pilgrims evacuated from flood-hit areas by the Indian Air Force (IAF) arrive at the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, state capital of Uttarakhand on June 21, 2013. (AFP Photo)

A body lies amid damaged surroundings by flood waters near Kedarnath Temple at Rudraprayag in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand June 20, 2013. (Reuters)