A short 8 minute read in English & Spanish perfect for all children! So, grab the kids and read with the gringa!
If you are an eco-aware individual, you know that mankind has wreaked all kinds of havoc on this Earth. From climate change to endangered species, the impact of humanity has been, for the most part, not a good thing at all. We all have to admit that we have failed as a species in our management duties.
One might think that a hard-core environmentalist might be an advocate for getting back to basics and living an old-fashioned homesteading lifestyle. Or, perhaps modeling a lifestyle after indigenous people who live in harmony with the nature that surrounds them. Technology and green living don’t seem at all synonymous. But what if we turn the tables on the path humanity has been traveling. What if mankind becomes committed to using technology to save the planet. Can such a strategy work?
Let’s take a look at the example of declining bee populations. The world of drones is offering as a solution replacing bees rather than saving them. They propose to create micro-drones that will become the AI pollinators of the future. Considering that the US lost 44% of its honeybee colonies in 2016, the agriculture industry is ready to embrace this idea. Many wild bee species are teetering on the edge of extinction. But is replacing them with robots a better solution than fostering a comeback of the real deal?
Many farmers think that we have no time to ponder the consequences. They are watching what they believe to be a doomsday scenario unfolding as we speak, er, read. Scientist and researcher, Eijiro Miyako, of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan is poised to become the savior of agriculture. This may be the messiah grateful families offer thanks to as they gather round future dinners tables filled with an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, maybe.
At the heart of his invention is a unique gel used in the electro-chemical industry. This ion based gel has long-lasting adhesion that is water-resistant, making it the perfect carrier for pollination duty. After various tests to determine that the gel is safe for use, being exposed to plants, insects and animals, it was time to build a vehicle model.
Miyako’s final design is a tiny, bee-sized drone with four-propellers. Miyako customized it with some horse hair because, after all, bees are fuzzy, too, right? The hair delivers an electrical charge that helps the grains of pollen remain attached.
Next came the big experiment… pollinating some plants. After buzzing a few plants, researchers used a special fluorescent microscope. When the scientists observed the tell-tale glow of pollen in test tubes, they knew they had achieved fertilization success with their pollinating robot.
Now, humans have been self-pollinating plants for some time. But it is incredibly labor intensive and time-consuming. If we become a world without bees, it would be impossible to hand-pollinate enough crops to feed all of humanity. The difference between human pollinators and real bee pollinators is a single person pollinating about 7 trees a day or a 2 million bee colony pollinating 1 million acres of trees. Big difference, huh?
But a pollinating drone is not a one-size-fits all solution. In the real world, there are different bee species for a reason. Each has their own specialty. Bumble bees are great tomato pollinators and leafcutter bees are preferred to pollinate alfalfa crops. On a side note, humans can learn a lesson here about the value of diversity! But, I digress.
And pollinating crops is not the only use being considered by the micro-drones. Instead of embarking on the complexities of replacing bees, which could end up creating a whole other set of environmental problems, an entomologist from the University of Minnesota, Marla Spivak, offers up a novel suggestion. She thinks attempting to create armies of drones of different designs to ultimately replace extinct bee species is too complicated and will take too much time, a solution that may arrive too late in the end, so of no use to save a starving world. Instead, she suggests using drones to perform a necessary job that is currently fraught with risk for bees, delivering pesticides and fertilizers to crops.
Instead of applying these chemicals in a broad spray that affects any insect present, not just bees, use drones for precision application. This can also protect surrounding human and animal populations by reducing vapor drift and runoff that contaminates groundwater resources.
The gringa prefers Spivak’s approach. I don’t think we should just give up on bees. They are here for a reason. And everytime mankind gets too big for his britches, thinking he doesn’t need something as lowly as a bee, it always leads to trouble. We simply must get over ourselves. We are all in this together, even the bees! We all need each other even if we don’t understand the role and contribution each cog in the wheel makes.
Regardless of which duty Miyako’s drones fulfill in the future, farmers will still be using them. And that means a critical job of the future lies in the drone industry. Whether someone is in on the manufacturing aspect or is a micro-drone pilot, young students of today who invest their time and efforts in drone technology will be setting themselves up for a future career that is not only lucrative, but might just help to save the world. And that’s the greatest kind of job to have.
Image Credit: Dr. Eijiro Miyako
Video Credit: Science Magazine
Digory and Polly finally discover where they are.
The gringa was raised in a fundamental evangelical household. Needless to say, the basic training of such a life is that Satan is bad. Nowadays, living the heretic life I do, I don’t give Satan much thought. If I do something bad, I own it. It was my decision and no phantom Lord of the Underworld made me do it.
Recently there was a terrible crime that took place in my city. A young girl was kidnapped and murdered. Her murderer claimed he killed her as a sacrifice to Satan because she disrespected his altar dedicated to the Evil One.
So, with this fresh reminder of the presence of Satan being very real for many people, the gringa made a snarky Satan-related comment on social media. It didn’t take long before the trolls hammered me. Who knew there were so many Satanists? They assured me that they were good guys. That their tenets didn’t demand human sacrifice or torture. They were kind enough to refer me to the local Luciferians for such acts.
The gringa was left scratching her head. Isn’t Lucifer just another name for Satan? Wasn’t Lucifer the name this entity had before he got exiled from God’s presence on rebellion charges? Isn’t Satan just an interpretation of an ancient Hebrew word that literally means the accuser? So if a Satanist accuses the Luciferian of dirty deeds that were blamed on Satanists, isn’t such an action actually a dead give-away that the Satanists actually are the bad guys after all?
It’s all so confusing. Now atheists or deists would both say that it’s not worth the bother to ponder over such things. After all, Satan and Lucifer are only religious myths. But the gringa says, “Not so fast.”
The issue is not whether Satan and Lucifer really exist. The crux of the matter is whether or not there are people who believe these entities exist, have power, and are willing to engage in certain acts in order to tap into that power or gain favor of a supernatural intervener. The existence of crimes in the names of fictitious gods is a very real and present concern for humanity. So, what do modern Luciferians and Satanists believe and practice?
The Greater Church of Lucifer has a really creepy website landing page, which is actually completely contrary to the claim that the entity they worship is the Light Bearer. I would have expected the main landing page to contain, well, beautiful light. Instead it is everything synonymous with the Prince of Darkness. A black background filled with ominous looking symbols and sigils.
They claim that Luciferianism is not really a religion but, rather, a life philosophy. The main difference between religion and philosophy is a god lacking in a system of philosophy.
There are basically 11 tenets of “faith” called the 11 Luciferian Points of Power. These 11 points encompass a lifestyle of individual power, rather than power vested in a supernatural being of authority. Spiritual lawlessness is the first step toward enlightenment (whatever that means). They are clear that there is no practice of submission or worship to anyone physical or spiritual or imaginary. They don’t believe in the existence of deities.
They regard the power as being vested in Lucifer as a word, or name, of power. This name is associated with pride and self-liberation balanced with discipline and logic. This philosophy is designed to inspire Luciferians to live a life of balance yet challenge all that seeks to bring them into submission.
As the Bearer of Light, Luciferians associate with the planet Venus which is also known as the Morning and Evening Star This title is also applied to Jesus of Christianity and the expected Messiah of the Judaism.
Although Luciferians admit a close kinship with Satanists, they offer these distinct differences:
- Satan is regarded as a deity
- Satanism centers around self-interest and hedonism
Luciferians have a strong appreciation for skepticism and science. They value individuality. About the only thing they believe that can be considered supernatural is the power of language, words and names. The magyck they practice centers around using the power of language.
The gringa found the Luciferians interesting. There were a few times when I thought to myself, “I think I’m a Luciferian!” But then it was time to visit the Church of Satan’s website and see what they had to say for themselves. And it has an equally dark landing page. What the heck is up with all this darkness if they don’t appreciate the stereotypes of the Prince of Darkness? Silly people. But, I digress.
The Satanists trace their roots through many religions like Voodoo and the Black Order of Germany from the 1920s and 1930s (um, yeah, if you are thinking Nazi mysticism, you are on the right track). Anton LaVey is considered to be the current High Priest of all Satanists around the world (even though he’s been dead for a decade).
Now, any Satanist can conduct a ritual but a priest is necessary to lead group worship. And, boy, do they have some dillies for rituals. There are 3 types:
- Sexual – to, of course, fulfill desire
- Compassionate – to help others (who knew)
- Destructive – to channel anger, annoyance or hate (oh boy)
Satanists are highly concerned with power. The gringa found it very interesting that the most important religious holiday for a Satanist to observe was their own birthday. It is considered the day another God was made manifest, in accordance with their belief that each person is a God (yeah, capital G).
They make it clear that they do worship Satan, referring to him as Lucifer, the bearer of light. They believe that he is invisible yet manifest in the forces of nature like wind, tornadoes, lightning, etc. They also believe that human life is sacred and that each person is obligated to fulfill their potential (so far, so good). It’s the ethics of Satanists where things get tricky, er, messy.
Satanists believe in indulgence rather than abstinence. I suspect there may be a lot of substance abusers in their church and they are a-okay with that. Which is why I found it surprising to later see all sorts of discouraging language with regard to substance abuse.
Indulgence would also seem diametrically opposed to the obligation to fulfill one’s potential. After all, to achieve your best, a person often has to sacrifice their personal wants and desires and practice self-discipline. This one’s a head-scratcher for the gringa.
Although Satanists believe in kindness for those who deserve it, they have no problem “channeling” their anger through rituals of destruction aimed at someone they might consider an “ingrate”. But they also believe that Satan and man are just animals, and sometimes very bad animals. Now, no matter how mad I might be at an armadillo digging up my garden or a puppy chewing up an expensive pair of shoes, I wouldn’t channel my anger through a destructive ritual to punish those darn ingrates.
So, how can a Satanist rationalize revenge upon an “ingrate” human animal that might have just been following their own animal nature? Well, that’s because Satanists claim that their Lord is the embodiment of vengeance. Curious because Christians & Jews have a scripture that says, “Vengeance is mine, thus sayeth the Lord.” The gringa’s sees how conflicted Satanists, Christians and Jews will be if they ever compared notes.
The strangest ethical practice the gringa saw posted was “Satan represents responsibility for the responsible, instead of concern for psychic vampires!” I’m not sure what that means. I think by the time the Satanist content creator got to this point in their writing they may have been in the grips of meaningless babble. Perhaps their animal nature was wrestling with their higher human mind.
It is even stranger that after talking about the obligation of kindness, undefiled wisdom, the hypocrisy of self-deceit, the rambling goes on to say that Satan and man have such highly developed spirituality and intellect that they have become the most vicious animal of all. The gringa doesn’t find animals to be vicious, only attacking others when necessary for survival. The gringa finds animals quite reliable and sometimes even noble. As for the humans the gringa knows who are considered to be highly intellectual and divinely evolved, I don’t find them to be vicious either. Usually they are pacifists.
Even more confusing is labeling Satan the most vicious animal of all yet a few sentences later calling him the best friend of the Church of Satan. With a friend like a vicious animal, who needs enemies, right?
My only conclusion is that Satanists are highly self-deceived because their own tenets and ethics are conflicting and contrary to one another. Hence living up to the stereotype and label generated from the Christian Bible that Satan is the author of confusion.
So, this guy in Houston who killed this girl and did it in the name of Satan? Well, Satan didn’t tell him to do it. This Satanist did it because he was a cruel, selfish man who hoped to mitigate some of his guilt and ease his conscience as he lashed out cruelly toward another human being. This makes Satanists dangerous because they can justify heinous acts through the reasoning that Satan would have wanted them to do such a thing. This man’s act of murder became a ritual of destruction to channel his anger at an “ingrate” who desecrated his religious altar to his god. He rationalized killing her as an act of religious justice.
Since she wouldn’t love her kidnapper, then this monster used his religion excuse to act on the belief that she didn’t deserve for him to waste kindness on her. He was only living up to another tenet of Satanism. His indulgence and self-gratification through his abuse of this victim was only a Satanist modeling himself after his god. And this god is claimed to teach adherents that the acts labeled sins by other religions are the acts one should engage in to satisfy their physical, mental and emotional desires.
Although the gringa has rejected the faith of her ancestors, she will give credit where credit is due. Fundamental evangelicals were right when they said Satan is bad. Even if Satan doesn’t exist, those who believe that Satan is real and worthy of worship and emulation, well, those are the REAL bad guys. Luciferians? I haven’t made up my mind, yet.
But one more curious point to ponder. Although the public may like to point the finger at this murderer and decry the evils of Satanism. Consider this. Without the Christian and Jewish texts, this vile religion wouldn’t exist. So, the stranger truth may be the existence of a trinity of blame for the existence of the evil of Satanism. But that deep well is fodder for another post.
Image Credit: Labor In Christ
Video Credit: Nateypxgrey
Fifteen minutes of fun reading with the gringa in English & Spanish to learn numbers 1 through 5 and parts of the body that snowflakes fall on!
Digory is searching for Polly. But where is this strange place he has found himself?
Explore Narnia. Read “The Magician’s Nephew”.
Join the gringa for 12 minutes of fun learning names of animals in English & Spanish!
Come read with the gringa for a 10 minute adventure playing hide-and-seek with Peter and his animal friends!
Let’s read children’s books together!
If you have read sci-fi novels or watched sci-fi flicks, then you have heard about cosmic strings. If you have dabbled in physics and astronomy you have probably heard about string theory. But, really, what the heck is a cosmic string? What do they do? Do they really exist? Are they space garbage that can be recycled for another purpose?
You know how Enterprise always seems to encounter some kind of space “anomaly” that causes all sorts of mayhem and the crew doesn’t know what the heck it is? That’s pretty much what life is like for space explorers now. We really have no idea what kind of stuff is out there in outer space. Cosmic strings are just one such anomaly.
Cosmic strings exist. They’re weird. They have different textures. They have walls that define their domains. They’re powerful, possibly containing the energy-mass of our Sun within a tube about one billion of a billionth the size of an atom. And scientists don’t know much more about them.
The gringa supposes that it’s a good thing that there are not very many of them, as far as we know. Running into such a weird anomaly could be disastrous for astronauts that don’t know what they are dealing with. But some scientists are not above guessing, er, um, theorizing about cosmic strings.
Physicist J. Richard Gott introduced the novel idea of using cosmic strings for time travel. Scientists suspect that these stringlike objects had something to do with how the early universe formed. They are left-over tidbits whose job is all done. Or not. Perhaps they could be upcycled to warp space-time near a black hole making time-travel possible. Is Gott for real?
Cosmic strings are skinnier than an atom. And they are taut, like a rubber band, because they are under immense pressure. So, just like when you launch a spitball by pulling back a rubber band, Gott thinks the same concept could be applied to cosmic strings. But we wouldn’t actually strap a spaceship to a cosmic string and slingshot it across the Universe.
To make Gott’s theory work, he proposes relocating two strings so that they are close together. Because of the great pressure they are under, putting two close together would create a massive gravitational pull on anything that passed near them. The strings would basically suck in a spaceship at such an incredible speed that the crew would experience time dilation.
Time dilation is a fancy way of saying you have changed the passage of time. On Earth, six months may have passed. For astronauts on a cosmic string launched spaceship bound for Mars, the trip might only take one month. They return home to find everyone a couple of years older yet maybe they only experienced the passage of a few months. Yep. Cosmic strings are weird.
The gringa can imagine the rich and the famous exploiting cosmic string travel as the next great fountain of youth treatment. Maybe we could blast across the galaxy our worst criminals on multiple trips. This could essentially leave them for the next generation to sort out. We could find all sorts of crazy uses for time dilation travel.
But Gott’s theory goes further. If the strings were positioned near a black hole, he thinks we could warp time-space and create what he calls a “closed timelike curve”. This would make true time-travel possible. Currently, time-travel is theorized to only be possible to make trips into the future that are one-way. A person cannot travel back into the past, only forward into the future. But Gott thinks he has found a way to yesterday.
The compounded effects of gravity on a spaceship by two cosmic strings and a black hole could create a loop with the cosmic strings. This powerful loop would propel the spaceship back through time. But there’s a catch. To re-visit a previous birthday just one year prior, a loop of cosmic string powerful enough would need the mass-energy of our entire galaxy. So, basically you sacrifice the life of everyone and everything in the present just to return to life of a year ago. Not so sure it’s worth it. Today doesn’t seem so bad.
Sources: Astronomy Cafe
Image Credit: Pinterest
Video Credits: FloatingUniversity
Will Digory be able to find and rescue Polly now that she has disappeared?