Life On The Fog Farm


Water is at the heart of climate change. As the world continues to transform, water, in one way or another, is significantly related to the resulting effects. For example, water levels of our oceans and seas are expected to rise. Water contained in massive rainfall in the major storm systems that rage, fed by the cyclical effects of climate change’s higher temperatures that increase evaporation of water resources. And then there are the regions that will become deserts, lacking water entirely. How will these areas feed their populations? Will they have to be abandoned altogether? Thanks to some Star Wars inspiration, nope.

Remember how the people who live on Tatooine used “vaporators” to irrigate their desert farms? Guess what? That technology, imagined in the 70’s, is real in the here-and-now of 2017. Yep, the technology has been developed to literally make water appear out of thin air. Like magic!

Even the most arid desert has some humidity within its immediate atmosphere. The trick is in trapping and condensing those tiny particles of humidity. Today’s “vaporators” work on the same principle that takes place when droplets of water start sliding down your glass of iced tea.

That cold drink is cooling down the immediate atmosphere around the glass. When that happens, humidity within that tiny area is no longer trapped within the warmer air. It is free to attach itself to the surface of your glass. That’s also how rain is formed. So, in a sense, the “vaporators” of Star Wars are actually air conditioners, cooling the hot, desert air so water droplets form.

But it would seem like it would take an awful lot to produce enough water to be helpful. Is this technology even practical? Well, let’s take a look at what Chilean & Peruvian farmers are doing, who farm in the dry, arid regions of the high Andes. They have a steel mesh contraption, kind of like a net. Covered in a special coating to attract the molecules of water within the air, they basically harvest fog.

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Is fog-catching making a difference? A single fog-catcher, about one-meter square, produces about 5 litres of water daily. An improved design hopes to up water collection to about a dozen litres daily. Either way, the technology being used has meant the difference between harvest success over crop failure for the artichokes, avocados and grapes commonly grown.

Even greater than creating water out of thin air, the technology is sustainable, portable and powered by nature. So don’t be surprised if the next big thing in agricultural areas are rows of tiny billboard looking thing-a-ma-jigs. But since you read with the Gringa, you’ll just shrug and say, “Hey, look. It’s a fog farm!”

Source:

New Scientist

Image Source:  Design We Need

Makeshift

Video Source:  Makeshift

Today’s Alternative News

Incredible Incas, Chapt 1, Pt 3


We continue to follow the journey of author Loren McIntyre across the land of the Inca Empire. We reach La Paz, the sacred Lake Titicaca and hear stories of Viracocha who created humanity and walks on water (sound familiar?).

Let’s discover the ancient Incan Empire together at “Read With The Gringa”!

Image Credit: Bhakti Anandas Collected Works

 

Incredible Incas, Chpt 1, Pt 2


We continue following the account of the journey through Peru of author Loren McIntyre in the first chapter “The Silent Strings”. We follow him thru Lima, old temples, Nazca, Cuzco & Bolivia while we learn history along his travels of the Pan American Highway.

 

Let’s read about the Incan civilization together!

Image Credit: Cruising From Stockholm

 

Incredible Incas, Chpt 1, Pt 1


We follow author Loren McIntyre on his fascinating journey through the history, culture and archeology of Peru’s Incan Empire. In the first part of chapter 1 he talks about all that gold!

 

Let’s discover Peru’s Incan Empire together!

Image Credit:  PBS

A Special UFO Dedication


Today’s post is dedicated to dear reader “mike7sedona”. Thanks “mike7sedona” for some interesting leads on UFO stories.

A dear reader commented on a recent post including three links to stories regarding statements made by a former Canadian government official on the existence of alien life. The gringa became curious about just how many government officials have gone on the record with statements. I am sure there is much more information than what I can include in a single post. However, the gringa doesn’t want to spoil all the fun for my dear readers. This should be enough to whet your appetites and get you hot on the trail of your own UFO story.

Former Canadian Defense Minister, Paul Hellyer, who served during the 1960’s, was interviewed on live television. These are a few highlights of his interview with regard to space aliens:

  • Aliens exist, live amongst us and have developed much of our technology such as microchips, LED lighting and Kevlar protective vests.
  • Aliens are hesitant to share more technology because mankind are poor stewards of humanity. They are particularly unhappy with our nuclear capabilities and the fact that nuclear weapons have been used.
  • They have become so unhappy with our pollution and wars and neglect of the needy that they have been warning key humans since the 1970s that we nasty humans need to change our ways.
  • He and his wife personally witnessed a UFO flying over Lake Muskoka about 120 miles north of Toronto. The sighting lasted for about 20 minutes
  • He discussed aliens with Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell. They concluded that there could be as many as 80 different species living among us, many humanoid and virtually indistinguishable from native humans. You could pass one in the street, live next door to one, share an office with one, and never know.
  • Tall Whites are a species who have two operatives working in the United States. Although, in general, they have rules governing their relations with other species such as non-interference.
  • The book “Millennial Hospitality”, written by Charles Hall, is about his relationship with one of the Tall White aliens working with the U.S. government.
  • Species “Nordic blondes” are virtually indistinguishable from natural humans.
  • Short Grey’s have very slim arms and legs, are short, barely taller than 5 feet, have big brown eyes in their very big heads.
  • Most are nice and want to help humanity but a couple of species are not so nice.
  • Their origins are varied such as: Andromedia which is one of Saturn’s moons, star systems like Pleiades & Zeta Reticuli.
  • Alien civilizations on Venus and Mars are thought to be communicating with each other.
  • A portal exists in the Andes, located in Peru that allows for space travel across vast distances.
  • They have been visiting Earth for thousands of years.
  • In 1961 50 UFOs left Russia, flew across Europe, buzzed the North Pole & returned to Russia which inspired a 3 year investigation by Russian officials who determined that the UFOs were of alien origin, four species to be exact.
  • A collaborative effort between powerful groups suppress information from reaching the public: U.S. Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, international banks, and specialized military personnel.

The source of this interview, Russia Today, is considered by Western journalists to be the strongest propaganda arm of Russia. However, considering the politics at play, the gringa understands why the West criticizes the East, attacking their credibility. If the U.S. did have a military edge with an extra-terrestrial alliance, of course they would want to discredit any revelation of this truth by Russia.

Unless the video is an absolute fake, edited piece, possibly even featuring a Hellyer doppleganger, there is no disputing the words spoken. Regardless of other reports that could be fake news, it seems that this interview would be difficult to classify as fake. The gringa tends to believe it is a genuine interview and that the former defense minister was entirely sincere.

But don’t just take the gringa’s word for it regarding the Russia Today video. Oh no, there’s more. In addition to the Russia Today interview, Hellyer testified at a Citizen Hearing On Disclosure (CHD) in Washington D.C. in 2013 which was also videotaped. He testified that aliens are indeed living among humanity with two operatives within the U.S. government. He testified before six former U.S. congressmen.

He then goes into the politics between the aliens and humans. The aim is for a one world government. He is also at odds with famed physicist Stephen Hawking who believes extra terrestrials have malevolent intentions toward humanity.

The gringa finds this incredible! Why was this not front-page headline news? However, I really shouldn’t be surprised. There’s actually quite a long list of government officials who have made public statements affirming the existence of extra-terrestrials and these reports have been equally buried or marginalized.

  1. Hillary Clinton campaign team-member John Podesta is an advocate for full disclosure of government information on UFOs and extra-terrestrials. He has succeeded in getting some documents declassified. The gringa can only wonder if this might have played a part in the FBI seemingly sabotaging Clinton’s presidential campaign? Hmmm.
  2. Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich claims to have personally witnessed a UFO.
  3. Former president of the Russian Republic of Kalmykia, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, also the current president of the World Chess Organization, claims he was abducted by humanoid extra terrestrials. He communicated telephathically during the experience on their spacecraft.
  4. Former NASA astronaut Edgar Mitchell is an avid UFOlogist, active in conventions. His origins are from Roswell, New Mexico, site of the famous UFO crash.
  5. Former Air Force Captain Robert Salas claims UFOs commonly interfered with nuclear warhead testing. He claims one of his crews came upon a UFO that was triangular in shape and emitted a substance like molten metal.
  6. The entire U.S. government admitted that the Roswell, New Mexico crash was an alien spaceship then changed their story, claiming it was only a weather balloon. This reversal has created controversy over what is known as the Guy Hottel memo, as well as other FBI documents, which contain descriptions of extra-terrestrial bodies that were recovered along with eyewitness testimony, descriptions of cattle mutilations, NSA documents on UFO crashes and coded messages that were intercepted.
  7. NASA astronaut Neil Armstrong claimed that he and Buzz Aldrin were watched by “someone” with more advanced technology than mankind when they were performing their famous Moon mission.
  8. Nine other NASA astronauts claimed to have witnessed UFOs.
  9. Most recently NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, after returning from an historic one year mission on the International Space Station, included a reference to space aliens in a statement about the harsh effects of gravity upon humans. But this could have been a joke and not at all serious, however many UFOlogists wonder if it was a cryptic admission. Especially since:
  10. Kelly Tweeted a photo from the station on day 233 of his mission which UFOlogists claim contains a UFO in the top right corner.

So there you have it. Dear readers, you will have to follow the links, dig up the dirt and decide for yourself. The gringa is fascinated and by no means a full-fledged believer or a full-fledged skeptic. Just as I am an astronaut hopeful, I am also hopeful that there are other beings out there who are kind. Who have succeeded in creating societies that are peaceful, co-existing with one another without war and greed. Civilizations who care for the planets that make their lives possible. Species that are so generous that they are willing to help us learn how to do the same. Who are so patient that despite how stupid humanity continues to be, they haven’t given up on us. If they haven’t given up on mankind, then the gringa won’t either.

Sources: provided through links throughout the post

Image Credit: pctechmag.com

Were Ancient Martians Vegetable Farmers?


If a petrified cauliflower garden was discovered on Mars would that indicate that ancient Martians were vegetable farmers? Again, images transmitted by Mars rover Spirit have ancient alien conspiracy theorists reveling in the possibility. Unfortunately, unless ancient Martians enjoyed a crisp, tasty salad of silica, no, they were not vegetable farmers.

Near what NASA has dubbed “Home Plate”, Spirit took some pictures of interesting mineral formations that looked like cauliflower. Now, just because something looks like something doesn’t mean that it is that something. Think of all the little fishies in the sea that believe they are about to snag a little morsel for dinner only to realize, much too late, it was actually a bio-lure attached to the head of a deep sea angler fish who is about to be enjoying some dinner of his own. See, although that glowing tidbit looked like food, it was actually a dangerous decoy and not at all what it seemed. So, no, the gringa does not believe that these cauliflower looking formations are actually petrified cauliflower. But, still, is there any exciting news attached to their existence?

According to researchers from Arizona State University, although the mineral formations are no indicator of ancient Martian farmers, they could still very well have been created by alien life. Just not the kind of alien life that walks about, flies in spaceships and probes your brain. We are talking about microscopic alien life in the form of microbes. Which, I guess, technically speaking, under the right conditions could get inside a human brain for a “brain probe”, technically speaking, of course.

Now these silica protrusions were first reported to Earthlings by Spirit in 2008. Why has it taken eight years for the media to find something interesting? Well, science takes its own sweet time in research and drawing the right conclusions. Part of this research involves studying similar mineral formations here on Earth to get some local answers. One place to do that is in the high altitude Andean Atacama Desert of Chile which has some shapes that look like a mirror image of what was found on Mars. Could the microbes that created the Martian formations have traveled to Earth and duplicated their work here? Is that a sign of a cosmic connection between our two planets or is it common for microbes to create silica based cauliflower everywhere? Are conditions simply present in lots of places remote from one another for this to happen?

Scientists Steven Ruff and Jack Farmer, who penned an article published by Smithsonian Magazine, believe that the Martian petrified cauliflower may be proof that at one time, way back when, Mars was teeming with the kind of life commonly found in the vicinity of geysers, even living within the geysers themselves. After their investigation of Chile’s cauliflower, the work of artistic microbes who have a penchant for sculptures resembling vegetables, they linked the microbes responsible to some ancient microbes found in New Zealand that were definitely from out of this world. More silica cauliflower cousins have also been found in Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park.

So maybe, just maybe, some space traveling microbes made their way here from Mars aeons ago. And the message they have left behind to get our attention are rock formations that look like cauliflower. Does that sound crazy or what? How would ancient microscopic Martians have ever known humans would ever develop the habit of even eating cauliflower and decide that would be their key way of making first contact or leaving behind a letter of introduction? The gringa appreciates the zeal of scientists but methinks this is all just an accident. Mars probably got slammed by an enormous asteroid, comet or meteor which sent chunks of Mars shooting out into space and one of these chunks happened to make its way to Earth and, bing, bang, boom, a kazillion years later we have cauliflower rocks just like Mars.

If that’s the case, there’s no telling what other bits of Mars may have made their way here and be right under our very noses. It makes rock collecting take on a whole new meaning. That little bit of quartz or gypsum you collect and stuff in a cubby hole or box today may prove to be of galactic origins tomorrow.

More interesting to the gringa than the thought of beings similar to us living on Mars long ago is the implication of space scraps making their way hither and yon from the vast reaches of space to finally land upon Earth. Who knows?! Maybe NOTHING organic on Earth actually originated here. Maybe our planet is a virtual junkyard of the Universe, with little bits from here and there surviving and growing up into what we have today. Hey, stranger things have happened!

Sources:  www.nasa.gov

www.yahoo.news

www.smithsonianmag.com

Image source:  www.americaspace.com

 

 

How Climate Change Affects Vacation Priorities


So, when the climate change poop hits the fan, who is going to be in for the worst ride? What parts of the world should I vacation at now because they will be uninhabitable in the future? Exactly where will be the safest place for the gringa and the caveman to diddle away their golden years?

Well, we better get busy and visit all the beach hotspots that are alive and kicking right now. With sea levels rising, the coastal cabanas of today will be reef material tomorrow. And, considering that climate change creates erratic and extreme weather patterns such as: heavy rain here, drought there, devastating tornadoes everywhere; well, there is no uniform model of what’s going to change where or when. The only concrete expectation right now is what models predict about low elevation islands and coastal beachlands. They are pretty much going to be history, some maybe within my lifetime.

Other areas scientists expect to change dramatically are regions that have a delicate ecosystem balance and are already experiencing hyper-sensitivity to environmental stressors. These areas include:

  • Arctic, specifically the tundra region
  • Boreal forest belt – This is the conifer forest that stretches across North America, particularly dense in the Pacific Northwest
  • Tropical Rainforest
  • Alpine regions
  • Steppes of Asia and the Americas
  • Prairies of Asia and the Americas
  • Deciduous forests of South America and Australia

The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the Earth. The permafrost layer is melting. Glaciers are getting smaller and sea ice is disintegrating. The wildlife of the Arctic will probably be a loss to the world. They depend on a habitat that is going to grow too warm to support their needs. The indigenous people of this region will experience a loss of their culture that is strongly dependent on the wildlife and natural geography. The humans will have the adaptation advantage that the wildlife and fauna do not have. But the loss of their culture is still something to mourn over.

The boreal forests of North America are important carbon sponges for the earth. What will a degree or two warmer mean? As temperatures warm the center of the United States, the boreal forest will shift northward. Predictive models sees the United States losing its boreal forest as it relocates to Canada and Alaska. So, we won’t lose them, they will relocate. That’s good news in the aspect that at least the Earth will retain a critical carbon filter.

Researchers in tropical rainforests mark trees and track them for years, measuring them to see how they are responding to climate change. A group in the Bolivian Andes are studying a swath of diverse trees and plants that thrive in a limited temperature range. As temperatures rise, so do the trees. New, baby trees are growing uphill. Just as the North American model predicted a forest migration, the same is expected of the tropical rainforests. They will abandon the lowland jungle regions and migrate up the mountainsides, seeking cooler temperatures.

Alpine regions are going to experience the same forest creeping phenomena. As glaciers continue to recede, alpine plants will continue to move upwards looking for cooler temperatures and water. However, eventually, when all the glacier water has melted and run off or evaporated, this critical component of the annual water budget will be gone forever. Plants and trees dependent upon it will eventually be extinct. So Alpine ecosystems will not only migrate, they will migrate to a slow death.

The upside of forest migration is that the Earth is trying to compensate and save herself. The downside is that the migration process is slower than the warming process. This means there will still be catastrophic loss of tropical rainforest and alpine habitat. This will affect the wildlife dependent on these ecosystems as well as their indigenous people.

Experts predict the possibility of losing over half of the steppe habitats due to the effects of climate change. They are not modeling a migration of fauna, but a loss. Steppes are critical grazing areas. As the steppes experience habitat loss, growing smaller, overgrazing occurs on the remaining areas. The effects then are coupled: climate change related drought and overgrazing. Things look dire for the future of the steppes and the animals and shepherds and ranchers who depend on them. The steppes could become the Earth’s future Sahara’s.

Unlike a conifer boreal forest or tropical rainforest that are green year round, a deciduous forest becomes barren in the winter season as the trees lose their leaves. Deciduous forests exist in tropical and temperate climates. Climate change models predict warmer winters affecting deciduous forests. This could lead to tree loss from pests and disease. In regions where devastating drought occurs, there will be higher tree loss. When a tree dies in the forest it also becomes fuel. In regions experiencing drought related tree loss, the dry conditions and increased fuel of more dead trees makes conditions ripe for voracious wildfires. So, if the drought or the bugs don’t wipe out the deciduous forests, the wildfires probably will.

The gringa thinks the list of vacation priorities should go something like this:

  • Arctic expedition
  • Steppe pack-mule trip
  • Deciduous and Alpine forest camp outs
  • Beach parties around the world
  • Tropical rainforest excursion
  • Bigfoot safari in the boreal forests of the Pacific Northwest

I don’t think climate change is going to sound the death knell for planet Earth and mankind. The gringa does believe it will be the end of many species of animals and plants that are with us today. It is also highly likely that entire cultures will be wiped out when they lose the habitats they rely upon. And usually species loss does not mean a gaping hole is left behind. Usually, another species fills the gap or a species evolves and adapts. So, the key word to focus on is “change”. It’s climate “change” not climate “loss”. But the change is as significant as the past disappearances of entire civilizations such as the Maya or entire animal classes like the dinosaurs.

At this point, I believe the consensus among scientists is that we have passed the tipping point. There is no going back and “fixing” things. We simply have to ride the lightning and deal with it. So, if a person is able and so inclined, they need to enjoy the world as we know it today and document it for the children of the future.

 

Source:  www.nasa.gov

Image Credit: http://www.notenoughgood.com