; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Monday, May 25, 2015

Daily 2 Cents: Fukushima = Wasteland -- Humans Will Become Cyborgs Within 200 Years -- 'Coast to Coast AM' on May 31st

Fukushima = Wasteland

A foreign correspondent whose career consists of traveling to dangerous regions around the world has called the area around Fukushima, Japan, one of the most hopeless places he has ever visited, likening it to a “post apocalyptic ghost town.”

“I have seen abandoned villages before; most times there is a sense of finality to them,” writes Arglit Boonyai, host of the weekly Channel NewsAsia show Danger Zone. “It is as though the town’s time is up and the people have moved on. Fukushima is nothing like that. It’s like time just stopped.”

Danger Zone is a show about Boonyai’s visits to some of the world’s most dangerous places in order to try to understand of how ordinary people cope with living there. In addition to Fukushima, he has previously traveled to Iraq and into the heart of the Liberian Ebola epidemic.

Herculean cleanup effort

In March 2011, Japan was devastated by a massive earthquake and tsunami, which then triggered multiple meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Explosions at the plant sent a massive plume of radioactive material spreading across the surrounding countryside.

Four years later, 70,000 people are still unable to return to their homes due to radioactive contamination. Local agriculture has been hobbled due to concerns over radioactive crops.fukushima

While filming the show, Boonyai and his crew visited the town of Tomioka, which was littered with signs of how abruptly the town had been abandoned, such as wedding albums and children’s toys scattered everywhere.

“If the tsunami had not destroyed most of the shops and houses in the area, there would be no explanation as to why the people there ever left,” he writes, “or why nature had slowly begun reclaiming the land covering collapsed buildings and the local train station.”

While some areas around Fukushima felt like ghost towns, others bustled with activity. The Japanese government has set a goal of completely cleaning up the radioactive waste from the disaster, even though radioactive material has infiltrated everything from the soil under people’s feet to the dust in the air they breathe.

“Workers work tirelessly to remove [radioactive fallout] inch by inch, mostly with the help of machines, but in some cases I witnessed clean-up crews scrubbing the side of buildings with steel tooth brushes,” Boonyai writes.

He notes that many locals have joined the effort as volunteers, particularly elderly residents who believe they are too old to worry about health effects from radiation.

“Lack of hope”

“But despite this shared sense of duty and extraordinary effort to return Fukushima to normal, I fear that here, more than anywhere else, has a distinct lack of hope,” Boonyai writes.

“Refugees living in temporary housing do not expect to return to their homes. Scientists and radiation specialists do not expect the land to be free from danger any time soon.”

Based on his visit to the region, Boonyai agrees with the assessment that the region will remain largely uninhabitable for decades.

The problems become more severe as one gets closer to the plant itself. In July 2014, Kyoto University assistant professor Hiroaki Koide described the area directly around the plant as a radioactive swamp. Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has been stockpiling radioactive water on the site — water used to cool the reactors and groundwater leaking into the failed reactors both become radioactive and build up rapidly — but numerous leaks have rendered the entire area highly dangerous.

Meanwhile, TEPCO has pushed back the timeline to begin decommissioning the crippled reactors themselves to 2025 due to technical difficulties. The company claims the project will be finished by 2051, but the head of the plant has publicly disputed this claim.

He says the technology does not yet exist to clean up Fukushima Daiichi, and it might not exist for centuries. - Fukushima = Wasteland


Humans 'will become God-like cyborgs within 200 years'

Wealthy humans are likely become cyborgs within 200 years as they gradually merge with technology like computers and smart phones, a historian has claimed.

Yuval Noah Harari, a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said the amalgamation of man and machine will be the ‘biggest evolution in biology’ since the emergence of life four billion years ago.

Prof Harari, who has written a landmark book charting the history of humanity, said mankind would evolve to become like gods with the power over death, and be as different from humans of today as we are from chimpanzees.

He argued that humans as a race were driven by dissatisfaction and that we would not be able to resist the temptation to ‘upgrade’ ourselves, whether by genetic engineering or technology.

“We are programmed to be dissatisfied, “ said Prof Harari. “Even when humans gain pleasure and achievements it is not enough. They want more and more.

“I think it is likely in the next 200 years or so homo sapiens will upgrade themselves into some idea of a divine being, either through biological manipulation or genetic engineering of by the creation of cyborgs, part organic part non-organic. Read more at Humans 'will become God-like cyborgs within 200 years'


Mystery over cremated remains from Michigan that washed up on Scottish beach

Morag Paterson was going for a swim near Inverness on Friday morning when something on the beach caught her eye. A plastic bag sat near the water and was full of a greyish powder.

The bag was sealed and attached to it was a round metal tag that said simply, “Central Michigan Crematory Battle Creek MI” with a five-digit identification number. And so the mystery began. Paterson tried to email the crematory, run by Brutsche Concrete Products, but could not get through, so she contacted the Battle Creek Enquirer instead to make known what she had stumbled upon.

When they contacted the company’s Mickey Brutsche, he said they know who the remains belong to through the ID number. He has no idea how the remains ended up in Scotland but said remains have been known to show up far from where they might be expected. “It does happen somewhat often,” he said.

“They found the remains in Ireland (actually in the north of Scotland) and we are working with our records and the funeral home and letting them know. It happens a couple of times a year.” Brutsche would not identify the funeral home that handled the service and he said it would be the funeral home’s responsibility to notify the family. “But this is someone’s loved one so it’s up to them if they want it to be public or not,” he said. - Mystery over cremated remains from Michigan that washed up on Scottish beach


Coast to Coast AM - May 31st

Hi folks...I have been asked to once again appear on 'Coast to Coast AM' on Sunday (Monday) May 31st. (Midnight - 2AM PT) - The subject will be 'Reptoids in Caves'. Should be interesting...Lon



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