Category Archives: Science & technology

Delta executives consider 8 year old’s idea to improve plane safety

A future engineer in the making? Clever young man!

Ben's idea/Photo via Consumerist

Ben’s idea/Photo via Consumerist

Fox reports that a young airplane enthusiast received a welcome surprise from a Delta executive after sending the airline a series of suggestions on how to improve safety in the event of a crash.

Ben Treider, 8, watched a show about planes mysteriously disappear, which included a segment about the disappearance of Malaysia’s MH370. After watching the show, “I felt a little sad,” Ben told

Ben put his sadness to good. Right away this young inventor got to work, designing an emergency aircraft system he believes would make it easier to locate planes in the event of an ocean crash.

Ben’s mom, Laura Treider, helped her son pen a letter to Delta CEO Richard Anderson. “We could have a system that has neon orange balloons that rise up to the surface when the plane crashes in the sea,” reads the letter. “And there would be stones at the bottom so they would stay there. The balloon wouldn’t be light enough to float up into the air, and it would have reinforced rubber to withstand a lot of pressure.” Ben’s drawing of his design (shown at top), clearly indicates how the balloon would hold a radio frequency transmitter to make the aircraft easier to locate.

Laura served in the Air Force with her husband and says her son has been fascinated with planes from an early age. “He’s always been interested in aviation, particularly in the design of military airplanes,” she said.

A few weeks after Ben sent out his letter he received a special package from John E. Laughter, Delta’s Senior Vice President of Safety, Security and Compliance. In addition to sending two model airplanes—which Ben says he quickly assembled—the young inventor got branded pencils and pens and a personal note commending his design.

“…I work with many Delta people, The Federal Aviation Administration, and airplane manufactures to solve problems such as airline tracking in an emergency. There are lots of experts thinking about ideas just like you send us. I will make sure to share your planes with them!” wrote Laughter.


Hillary Clinton is “often confused”

Shocker, not.

Huma Whispers

An email from Huma Abedin about Hillary was revealed yesterday. The State Department emails were obtained by Judicial Watch. Huma is seen warning another aide that Clinton is “often confused.”

clinton confused email

Judicial Watch explained in a press release:

Judicial Watch today released more than 35 pages of emails former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin revealing that Abedin advised Clinton aide and frequent companion Monica Hanley that it was “very important” to go over phone calls with Clinton because the former Secretary of State was “often confused.”  The emails, from Abedin’s “” address, also reveal repeated security breaches, with the Secretary’s schedule and movements being sent and received through Abedin’s non-governmental and unsecured Clinton server account.  The emails document requests for special State Department treatment for a Clinton Foundation associate and Abedin’s mother, a controversial Islamist leader.

The Abedin email material contains a January 26, 2013, email exchange with Clinton aide Monica Hanley regarding Clinton’s schedule in which Abedin says Clinton is “often confused:”

This comes as no surprise to us here at FOTM. We’ve reported about her health before. In August the National Enquirer reported Hillary was said to have multiple sclerosis and a series of strokes.

In October, author Edward Klein (who wrote “Unlikeable – The Problem with Hillary“, stated that Hillary had been “frequently plagued” by “blinding headaches” and a series of strokes over the course of the campaign.

There was also reports in May 2014 that Hillary was brain damaged. You won’t get any arguments from me about that! But heaven help us if we do elect this woman and she has some serious health issues.

Hillary Clinton what difference does it make


FCC won’t force Google and Facebook to stop tracking you

I quite Facebook over a year ago and don’t miss it one bit. And I stay far, far away from Google.


NY Post: US regulators rejected an effort on Friday to force Google, Facebook and other popular websites to honor “Do Not Track” requests from users, in a setback for digital privacy advocates. The FCC dismissed a petition that would have required Internet giants to let consumers opt out of having their online activity tracked.

The FCC said it “has been unequivocal in declaring that it has no intent to regulate edge providers,” or companies that provide content and services over the Internet. Yet you have to wonder what their (the government’s) true intentions are given that they must be aware of Facebook’s policy which allows third parties (themselves) like the CIA, FBI, NSA etc. to collect information from your computer, phones and other devices where you access Facebook.

You would think that you could submit a “Do Not Track” request to tell a website not to collect information and some web sites do honor “Do Not Track” requests, but doing so is largely voluntary.

The Consumer Watchdog group is on top of this fight.  “It’s outrageous that users of Google and Facebook, which has a billion users, won’t have the same online privacy protections as AT&T and Verizon,” Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog, told Reuters. Court said his group may file for reconsideration before the FCC, and that it would continue to seek Do Not Track legislation in Congress.

Two peas in a pod...

Two peas in a pod…

As the government’s top consumer protection body, you’d think the FCC would protect consumer rights. Yet it’s apparent that Facebook and Google are working with the government to massively spy on American and foreign citizens.

See also:


Frightening: Alzheimer’s can be transmitted

Alzheimer’s disease is now considered a “prion disease” by some scientists.

Prions, short for proteinaceous infectious particles, are misfolded proteins that carry the ability to trigger further proteins to misfold, leading to debilitating brain disorders, including:

  1. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or mad cow disease).
  2. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), the human form of mad cow disease.
  3. Scrapie in sheep.
  4. Alzheimer’s.

Prions are unique in being an infectious agent without any genes, unlike viruses or bacteria. They are extremely tenacious, sticking to metal surfaces of surgical instruments and surviving the high temperatures and chemical agents that kill off infectious viruses and microbes.

A new scientific study found that Alzheimer’s disease can be a transmissible infection, albeit rare, which is inadvertently passed from one person to another during certain medical procedures.


Steve Connor reports for the UK Independent, Sept. 10, 2015, that a study of eight people who were given growth hormone injections when they were children, has raised the disturbing possibility that Alzheimer’s can be transmitted under certain circumstances when infected tissues or surgical instruments are passed between individuals.

The eight adults, aged between 36 and 51, all died of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), aka the human form of mad cow disease, after receiving contaminated hormone injections as children. Autopsies on their brains also revealed that seven of them had the misfolded proteins associated with the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. It is unheard of for people in this age group to have such proteins.

The scientists did not find the “tau” protein tangles associated with the later stages of the disease, which means the seven individuals did not have full-blown Alzheimer’s, although they may well have developed it had they not died of CJD.

The study, published in the journal Nature, eliminated other possible reasons for the presence of these so-called amyloid-beta (A-beta) proteins and came to the conclusion that they were most probably transmitted as protein “seeds” in the growth-hormone injections.

Professor John Collinge, head of neurodegenerative diseases at University College London, said at a press conference that until now, it was thought that Alzheimer’s occurred only as a result of inheriting certain genetic mutations causing the familial version of the disease, or from random “sporadic” events within the brain of elderly people. “What we need to consider is that in addition to there being sporadic Alzheimer’s disease and inherited or familial Alzheimer’s disease, there could also be acquired forms of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Collinge explained there can be three different ways that Alzheimer’s — what he calls “protein seeds” — can be generated in your brain:

  1. Spontaneously, as “an unlucky event as you age.”
  2. A faulty gene.
  3. Exposure “to a medical accident” as described above in the cases of transmissible Alzheimer’s. Collinge emphasized that “this relates to a very special situation where people have been injected essentially with extracts of human tissue. In no way are we suggesting that Alzheimer’s is a contagious disease. You cannot catch Alzheimer’s disease by living with or caring for someone with the disease.

The findings have raised questions about the safety of some medical procedures, possibly including blood transfusions and invasive dental treatment, which may involve the transfer of contaminated tissues or surgical equipment. It is well-established that the prion proteins behind CJD and Alzheimer’s stick to metal surfaces, such as metal surgical tools, and can survive extreme sterilization procedures such as steam cleaning and formaldehyde.

There is also the question of whether Alzheimer’s disease could be passed on in blood transfusions, given that animal experiments have shown this to be possible. Professor Collinge said:

“Epidemiological studies have been done in the past looking for links between Alzheimer’s disease and blood transfusions and they have not shown an association. Certainly with vCJD, which is the form of CJD associated with mad-cow disease, there is infectivity found in the blood and there have been four documented cases in the UK of vCJD from a blood donor who went on to get vCJD, so it can occur. Certainly there are potential risks in dentistry where it is impacting on nervous tissue, such as root-canal treatments and special precautions are taken for that reason… If you are speculating whether A-beta seeds are transmitted at all by surgical instruments one would have to consider whether certain types of dental procedures might be relevant.”

But in a statement issued later, Dr. Collinge clarified that more research was needed before any conclusions could be drawn about any potential risks in current medical or dental treatments:

“Our findings relate to the specific circumstance of cadaver-derived human growth hormone injections, a treatment that was discontinued many years ago. It is possible our findings might be relevant to some other medical or surgical procedures, but evaluating what risk, if any, there might be requires much further research. Our current data has no bearing on dental surgery and certainly does not argue that dentistry poses a risk of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Between 1958 and 1985 some 1,848 people in Britain, mostly children, received growth hormone injections made from tens of thousands of homogenized pituitary glands derived from the brains of human cadavers. The NHS switched to synthetic growth hormone in 1985 when scientists realized that pituitary-derived hormone could be a route for transmitting CJD. Up to 2000, there were 38 known cases of “iatrogenic” CJD resulting from growth hormone injections in the UK, but this figure is likely to rise further because of the exceptionally long incubation period of the disease.

Dame Sally Davies, the Government’s Chief Medical Officer, played down the significance of the research on transmissible Alzheimer’s saying that it was a small study on only eight samples: “There is no evidence that Alzheimer’s disease can be transmitted in humans, nor is there any evidence that Alzheimer’s disease can be transmitted through any medical procedure. I can reassure people that the NHS has extremely stringent procedures in place to minimize infection risk from surgical equipment, and patients are very well protected.”

Doug Brown, director of research at the Alzheimer’s Society, concurred with Davies: “While these findings are interesting and warrant further investigation, there are too many unknowns in this small, observational study of eight brains to draw any conclusions about whether Alzheimer’s disease can be transmitted this way. Injections of growth hormone taken from human brains were stopped in the 1980s. There remains absolutely no evidence that Alzheimer’s disease is contagious or can be transmitted from person to person via any current medical procedures.”

But UCL Professor of Neuroscience John Hardy disagrees. He said: “I think we can be relatively sure that it is possible to transmit amyloid pathology by the injection of human tissues which contain the amyloid of Alzheimer’s disease. Does it have implications for blood transfusions? Probably not, but this definitely deserves systematic epidemiological investigation.”

Scientists emphasised that the new evidence is still preliminary and should not stop anyone from having surgery. They have also stressed that it is not possible to “catch” Alzheimer’s by living with someone with the disease.

See also “Smoking is a major contributing factor of Alzheimer’s“.


Proposed UN Tribunal of Climate Justice threatens U.S. sovereignty, while Antarctica ice is increasing, not melting

The Christian Science Monitor reports that a new NASA study found that Antarctica has been adding more ice than it’s been losing, challenging other research, including that of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that concludes that Earth’s southern continent is losing land ice overall.

In a paper published in the Journal of Glaciology, researchers from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, the University of Maryland in College Park, and the engineering firm Sigma Space Corporation offer a new analysis of satellite data that show a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001 in the Antarctic ice sheet, “slowing” to a net gain of 82 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008.

The study’s authors say these findings challenge current explanations for sea level rise, much of which is attributed to melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica from “global warming.”

One of the authors, Dr. Zwally, said, “The good news is that Antarctica is not currently contributing to sea level rise, but is taking 0.23 millimeters per year away…. If the 0.27 millimeters per year of sea level rise attributed to Antarctica in the IPCC report is not really coming from Antarctica, there must be some other contribution to sea level rise that is not accounted for.”


Notwithstanding the fact that Antarctica has been gaining, not losing, ice, the climate change activists are proceeding with their agenda.

Leo Hohmann reports for WND that at the upcoming United Nations Climate Summit in Paris, scheduled for Nov. 30-Dec. 11, participating nations have prepared a treaty that would create an “International Tribunal of Climate Justice” giving Third World countries the power to haul the U.S. into a global court with enforcement powers.

According to the proposed draft text of the climate treaty, the tribunal would take up issues such as “climate justice,” “climate finance,” “technology transfers,” and “climate debt.”

The UN climate tribunal will bypass Congress. Policies once left to sovereign nations could be turned over to the U.N. tribunal if the U.S. and its allies approve the proposed deal in Paris during the summit.

Read the proposed treaty here.

See also:


Taxpayer-backed solar plant actually a carbon polluter


Fox News: Even as the Obama administration announces another $120 million in grants to boost solar energy, new reports indicate a centerpiece of the administration’s green-energy effort is actually a carbon polluter.

Located in Southern California’s Mojave Desert, the $2.2 billion Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System benefited from a $1.6 billion Energy Department loan guarantee, and a $539 million Treasury Department stimulus grant to help pay off the loan.

Tax dollars at work...

Tax dollars at work…

Yet it is producing carbon emissions at nearly twice the amount that compels power plants and companies to participate in the state’s cap-and-trade program. That’s because the plant relies on natural gas as a supplementary fuel. 

According to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, the plant burned enough natural gas in 2014 to emit 46,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide. But Ivanpah, while in the cap-and-trade program, is still considered a renewable energy source because it technically produces most its energy from solar.  Built by BrightSource Energy Inc. and operated by NRG Energy, the Ivanpah project has been mired in controversy from the start.

Taxpayer advocates object to the federal support. Environmentalists say it would hurt the endangered desert tortoise and lament that 3,500 birds were “fried” by the heat produced by the plant in its first year. 

But the natural gas factor raises the fundamental question of whether this plant — and others — are undercutting their own green energy gains by emitting carbon pollution in the process, while not producing anywhere near the level of electricity of a regular power plant.  “This is a prime example of when good intentions go bad,” said H. Sterling Burnett, a research fellow at the Heartland Institute.

Solar and wind power plants typically require some form of supplemental fuel, to deal with weather changes.  Natural gas, used at several California operations, can be used during the evenings to help protect against overnight freezing and temperature changes that can hurt equipment. Yet while natural gas is not as environmentally damaging as coal or oil, it is a fossil fuel generally not considered “green.”

Ivanpah’s original license allowed it to use millions of cubic feet of natural gas with the understanding the total would not exceed 5 percent of the energy the project gets from sunlight. BrightSource originally estimated the plant’s main auxiliary boilers would use the gas for an average of an hour per day. 

But in March 2014, they petitioned the California Energy Commission for permission to increase that to roughly 4.5 hours per dayIn the petition, they cited a need to protect equipment and “maximize solar electricity generation.”

The company defended the plant operations.  “Less than 5 percent of electricity generated is attributed to natural gas, which … qualifies 100 percent of the plant generation as renewable,” NRG spokesman David Knox wrote in an email. Michael Ward, information officer for the California Energy Commission which provided the emissions data, confirmed that Ivanpah indeed falls below the 5 percent mark.

But the 5 percent figure does not tell the whole story — as California does not account for emissions produced when a power plant is not generating electricity, according to Ward. So the actual percentage of natural gas use could well be higher.

“If it were any other energy industry besides solar, the plant never would not have been built,” said David Lamfrom, director of California desert and national wildlife programs at the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA).

Lamfrom said that “political pressure pushed this project through without proper input from the taxpayers and without them being adequately informed of exactly what kind of project this was.”  He said officials “generated enough momentum to make this project happen in order to meet the [deadlines for] the stimulus funding.”

According to Lamfrom, designers also erred in placing Ivanpah between the tallest mountains in the Mojave where there is significant cloud cover and dust which would interfere with the sunlight. 

are you serious

Burnett noted that low sunlight only increases the use of natural gas: “You can make solar power as cheap as you want. If the sun is not shining, or it is cloudy or rainy, it will require natural gas to ramp up [the plant] quickly when solar power goes offline. They say it is green, but that assumes that there is a power source without any environmental impact.”


The truth about Ahmed, the Muslim “clock boy”

Please see the latest outrage from Ahmed: “Muslim ‘clock boy’ wants $15M for ‘permanently scarring’ his reputation

On September 14, 2015, 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed was arrested at MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas for bringing an alleged hoax bomb to school. News of the arrest rapidly went viral, resulting in allegations of racial profiling and Islamophobia.

As recounted by Wikipedia, Mohamed had reconstructed an electronic clock in a pencil box and brought it to school to show his teachers. His English teacher thought the clock resembled a bomb, confiscated it and reported the boy to the school’s principal. Local law enforcement was called and Mohamed was questioned by police for an hour and a half. After being taken into custody, handcuffed, and transported to a juvenile detention facility, he was fingerprinted and his photograph was taken. He was then released to his parents. The case was not pursued further by juvenile justice authorities, but Mohamed was suspended from school for three days.

After Obama, other politicians, activists, technology company executives, and media personalities remarked on the incident, Mohamed was invited to the White House and a number of high-profile events related to encouraging youth interest in science and technology. After the incident, the family decided to move to Qatar, accepting a scholarship offered to Mohamed by the Qatar Foundation.

Ahmed Mohamed clock boy

Here is the truth about Ahmed, the Muslim clock boy, from an article, “Clock and Bull Story,” by author William Kilpatrick in Crisis Magazine, Oct. 26, 2015. Kilpatrick demonstrates that the national media, once again, can’t be bothered with finding out and reporting the truth.

You’ve no doubt heard about the “clock boy”—the 14-year-old Muslim student who brought a self-made clock to school to show to his teachers and was then detained by police on the suspicion that the clock might be a bomb.

The media pounced on the story as a classic case of Islamophobia, the president complimented Ahmed Mohamed on his “cool clock” and invited him to the White House, and just about everyone agreed that the young bespectacled clock maker was a boy genius. Offers of scholarship money poured in from giant social media companies, and the Cambridge Public Library, which might have been expected to show more prudence (it stands next to Cambridge Rindge and Latin—the school attended by the Boston Marathon bombers), hosted a “Stand with Ahmed and Build Your Own Clock Day.”

And then the clock narrative began to unwind. It turns out that Ahmed didn’t make the clock, but had merely taken out the innards of a Radio Shack digital clock and installed it in a cigar box. What’s more, it appears that the boy was not as innocent as portrayed. The first teacher he showed it to told him to put it in his locker and not show it around. Nevertheless, Ahmed continued to show it around until he found a teacher who reacted with the apparently desired response.

When the Irving, Texas police showed up, they found the boy to be uncooperative, and, seeing that a few months previously, two jihadists had attempted to machine-gun an art exhibition in nearby Garland, they thought it prudent to detain Ahmed until they were sure of the situation.

The case that the teen was deliberately trying to provoke a confrontation was strengthened as more was learned about his family. His older sister, Eyman, was once suspended from her school for threatening to blow it up. His uncle runs a trucking company called Twin Towers Transportation. And his father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, is a publicity hungry activist who calls himself a sheik, wears flowing white robes, and is a 9/11 Truther. The elder Mohamed routinely returns to Sudan to run as a presidential candidate, and he once debated Pastor Terry Jones of Koran-burning fame.

In one of his posts (in Arabic), Ahmed’s father rails against Islamophobia and says that “Muslims … must exploit every opportunity to reveal the truth of Islam.” He has certainly done that. With the help of his lawyers, publicists from CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations), and considerable assist from the media, Mr. Mohamed has parlayed the incident into a whirlwind global publicity campaign. In recent months this has included an appearance for his son on the Dr. Oz show, a photo-op with the Queen of Jordan at the UN, and a world tour for the family. The tour took the family to Mecca and to meetings with various world leaders, including the genocidal president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir. To top it all off, the media’s favorite all-American family then decided to relocate to Qatar in response to an offer from the Qatar Foundation for Ahmed to study at its Young Innovators Program.

“Muslims … must exploit every opportunity to reveal the truth of Islam”? In retrospect, it looks like Mr. Mohamed not only “exploits” opportunities, but also does his best to create them. The whole incident seems to be a pre-planned family plot intended to reinforce the Islamophobia narrative and gain some publicity for the family in the bargain.

Instead of a classic case of Islamophobia, the clock boy affair might better be seen as a classic case of stealth jihad. It’s reminiscent of the “flying imams” incident several years back in which a group of six imams praying loudly in Arabic and otherwise behaving in unusual ways scared the daylights out of fellow passengers on a flight to Phoenix. After being ejected from the plane prior to take off, the imams turned around and sued not only the airline and the police, but also passengers who had reported their suspicious behavior to the flight crew. Eventually U.S. Airways and the imams settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. Fearful that the incident would have a chilling effect on airport security, Congress passed a law to give immunity to citizens who report suspicious behavior.

Will the Ahmed affair have a similar chilling effect? Will teachers be more likely to look the other way when Muslim students act suspiciously? We are continually reminded that if we see something we should say something. But what if the penalty for seeing and saying is to be held up for ridicule by everyone from the press to the president? By instantly granting celebrity status to the Muslim community’s young Tom Edison, the social elites were implying that the teachers and police back in Irving were just paranoid rednecks. In fact, Ahmed himself said something to that effect. In an interview with Al-Jazeera, he stated that he was detained “because I’m a Muslim.” “There is a lot of stereotypes [sic] for people who are foreigners and [when] they have Muslim names … no, this would not have happened to any of my classmates.”

As a reward for his battle against Islamophobia, CAIR presented Ahmed with the American Muslim of the Year Award at its 21st annual “Champions for Justice” banquet. By sheer coincidence, the ubiquitous CAIR was the group that provided legal counsel for the flying imams in their successful action against U.S. Airways. CAIR, which bills itself as a civil rights group, is considered by some to be the premier stealth jihad organization in the U.S. It has close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, and in a 2008 court decision it was designated as an unindicted co-conspirator in a large-scale terrorist funding operation. And, although CAIR is considered by the U.S. government to be a model of moderation, the government of the United Arab Emirates includes it on its list of worldwide terrorist organizations.

But, to employ the obvious pun, who cares about all that when CAIR features photogenic “Champions of Justice” at its annual banquet and when the media treats it as though it were a branch of the Red Cross? The most disturbing aspect of the clock boy affair is not its apparently duplicitous nature, but the willingness of establishment institutions to sign up for the campaign against Islamophobia.

It’s to be expected that CAIR will put a happy face on all things Islamic. As the Geico commercial says, “that’s what they do.” But why the social and political elites continued to lend a hand even after the clock story had unwound is harder to fathom. What they are celebrating is a process by which Americans are made to feel ashamed for raising security concerns. […]

9/11 woke up America, but since then many Americans have fallen into a semi-comatose state, knocked slap-happy by repeated politically correct blows to the head. Thanks in part to the PR work of groups like CAIR and their boosters in media and government, a sizable number of citizens have gone back to sleep. The digital clock that Ahmed Mohamed brought to school was fully intact except for its casing. The clock-and-bull story manufactured by the social elites is also carefully put together—except for one detail. Someone removed the alarm.