Wal-mart struggles to restock shelves as U.S. sales slump – Bloomberg

Source: Bloomberg
Source: Bloomberg

Renee Dudley writes for Bloomberg news about the sales slump and re-stocking woes of U.S. Wal-mart stores.  She writes:

Once a paragon of logistics, the world’s largest retailer has been trying to improve its restocking efforts since at least 2011, hiring consultants to walk the aisles and track whether hundreds of items are available. It even reassigned store greeters to replenish merchandise. The restocking challenge emerged as Wal-Mart was returning more merchandise to shelves after a previous effort to de-clutter its stores.

Wal-Mart’s inability to keep its shelves stocked coincides with slowing sales growth.

Dudley points out that Wal-mart, once a “logistics master” to the point of “persuading suppliers to set up shop near its operations” is having a hard time keeping inventory in stock.

She continues:

In 2011, Wal-Mart hired consulting firms Acosta Inc. in the U.S. and Retail Insight in the U.K. for advice on how to keep its shelves stocked. Paul Boyle, the CEO of Retail Insight, didn’t return phone calls seeking comment. Meredith Rovine, a spokeswoman for Acosta, said representatives were unavailable for comment.

At that time, Wal-Mart’s struggle to keep shelves stocked stemmed from the return of about 8,500 items to stores, following a failed effort to streamline its merchandise. At an investor conference in June of that year, Simon said he was focused on improving the company’s restocking operations.

“The only thing that really matters to us is whether the product is on the shelf or not,” he said at the time.

According to the Feb. 1 meeting minutes, Simon said: “We have to get better and remain laser-focused every day because momentum can turn against you in a second.”

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Randall Carlson on Cosmic Patterns & Sacred Architecture

Red Ice Radio host Henrik Palmgren interviews Freemason and builder Randall Carlson.  The description reads:

Published on Feb 23, 2013

As a professional designer/builder, student of Sacred Geometry and long time Freemason, Randall Carlson is uniquely qualified to interpret the hidden meaning of the great masterpieces of mystical architecture. It is his aspiration to affect a revival of lost knowledge towards the goal of creating the new world based upon universal principles of harmony, freedom, and spiritual evolution. Randall emphasizes the cyclical nature of time and the periodic catastrophes responsible for the collective amnesia of our species. He returns to discuss sacred geometry. In the first hour, we’ll discuss the pioneers of sacred geometry and sacred architecture, places of pilgrimage and older building techniques. We’ll discuss the “travelling man” in Freemasonry. Randall shares a mason’s perspective on operative vs. speculative Freemasonry, King Solomon’s temple and buildings that imprint symbolism. He also comments on the 33rd degree of Freemasonry. In the second hour, we’ll discuss how states of consciousness are connected to the environment that one inhabits. We’ll talk about today’s urban societies and what they reflect vs. ancient sacred buildings that reflect harmony, beauty and higher states. Randall speaks more on symbolism, scaling ratios in architecture and deeper meanings. Later, he explains how memory and numbers that are encoded into many ancient monuments connect with the cycles of catastrophe and the great year.

For more about the work of Randall Carlson, link here to sacredgeometryinternational.com.

Secrets of the Bosnian pyramids, interview with Sam Osmanagich

Virtual Light produced this interview with archeologist and pyramid expert, Sam Osmanagich about his research at the site of the Bosnian pyramids.  Osmanagich maintains that these pyramids, discovered in 2005 are the oldest[radio-carbon dated at 25,000 years old] and the largest in the world.  Made out of huge boulders and featuring solid, concrete floors, the Bosnian pyramids also feature a network of tunnels carved out beneath them.  He has set up an independent non-profit organization to explore this ancient “pyramid of the sun”.  The video description reads:

7 elements of his discovery of the pyramids in Bosnia
Blockages put up by his own government
Made the project public and accepted volunteers
Found proof of energy field shooting straight up from the pyramid top. Signal gets stronger the further up you go.  Source of the energy is found 1 ½ miles below the pyramid. Pyramid makes it stronger, magnifies it.
Chambers beneath pyramid appear to be rejuvenation chambers
Evolving or devolving?

“Wade Davis: Gorgeous photos of a backyard wilderness worth saving”

http://ted.com/talks/view/id/1676

From the Wade Davis profile on Ted Talk, [click here to read in full]:

Wade Davis is perhaps the most articulate and influential western advocate for the world’s indigenous cultures. A National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, he has been described as “a rare combination of scientist, scholar, poet and passionate defender of all of life’s diversity.” Trained in anthropology and botany at Harvard, he travels the globe to live alongside indigenous people, and document their cultural practices in books, photographs, and film. His stunning photographs and evocative stories capture the viewer’s imagination. As a speaker, he parlays that sense of wonder into passionate concern over the rate at which cultures and languages are disappearing — 50 percent of the world’s 7,000 languages, he says, are no longer taught to children. He argues, in the most beautiful terms, that language is much more than vocabulary and grammatical rules. Every language is an old-growth forest of the mind.

Indigenous cultures are not failed attempts at modernity, let alone failed attempts to be us. They are unique expressions of the human imagination and heart, unique answers to a fundamental question: What does it mean to be human and alive? When asked this question, the peoples of the world respond in 7,000 different voices, and these collectively comprise our human repertoire for dealing with all the challenges that will confront us as a species over the coming centuries.

Davis is the author of 15 books including The Serpent and the RainbowOne River, and The Wayfinders. His many film credits include “Light at the Edge of the World”, an eight-hour documentary series produced for the National Geographic. In 2009 he received the Gold Medal from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society for his contributions to anthropology and conservation, and he is the 2011 recipient of the Explorers Medal, the highest award of the Explorers’ Club, and the 2012 recipient of the Fairchild Medal for Plant Exploration. His latest books are Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest and The Sacred Headwaters: the Fight to Save the Stikine, Skeena and the Nass.

“His work with indigenous cultures has given him a truly unique view of the world. He is able to slip off the map for awhile, to live with the voodoo priests in Haiti, the Penan in Borneo, or the Quechuen of Chinchero.” – CBC-TV

Lima, Peru’s potable water generating billboard

Physics magazine published a report on the new billboard in Lima, Peru that captures humidity out of the air and filters it into potable water.   The article by Nancy Owano begins:

A billboard in Lima, Peru, created by ad agency Mayo DraftCFB in collaboration with the University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC), captures the air’s humidity and turns it into potable water for Lima residents. Lima is referred to as a “desert megacity” where many residents cope with inadequate access to clean drinking water. The agency and university formed a team to produce what they refer to as the first billboard that produces drinking-water out of air.

Generators inside the billboard process the air and filter it into water, stored and drawn by residents at the bottom of the billboard. The system has an air filter, a condenser and a carbon filter. The system is designed to generate 96 liters of water per day for the local community. 

Lima billboardSource: Phys.org
Lima billboard
Source: Phys.org

Owano reports that Peru’s State Water Company plans to invest heavily in Lima’s, “Water and sewage infrastructure,” in an area that sees less than an inch of rainfall per year, but is described as a “coastal desert” with dense humidity.

She writes:

According to the Ministry of Housing, about 700,000 Lima residents lack access to potable water, while another 600,000 rely only on water cisterns. The investment will allow for 148 water projects, to be overseen by Sedapal, the state-owned water utility company The company will build reservoirs, wells and water-treatment plants as well as replace 3,000 miles of water pipes in Lima. 

Read the article by Nancy Owano, click here.

“NRL scientists produce densest artificial ionospheric plasma clouds using HAARP”

"Sequence of images of the glow plasma discharge produced with transmissions at the third electron gyro harmonic using the HAARP HF transmitter, Gakona, Alaska. The third harmonic artificial glow plasma clouds were obtained with HAARP using transmissions at 4.34 megahertz (MHz). The resonant frequency yielded green line (557.7 nanometer emission) with HF on November 12, 2012, between the times of 02:26:15 to 02:26:45 GMT." Source: U.S, Naval Research Laboratory

About the photo: “Sequence of images of the glow plasma discharge produced with transmissions at the third electron gyro harmonic using the HAARP HF transmitter, Gakona, Alaska. The third harmonic artificial glow plasma clouds were obtained with HAARP using transmissions at 4.34 megahertz (MHz). The resonant frequency yielded green line (557.7 nanometer emission) with HF on November 12, 2012, between the times of 02:26:15 to 02:26:45 GMT.”
Source: U.S, Naval Research Laboratory

News release dated the 25th of February 2013, from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory:

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory research physicists and engineers from the Plasma Physics Division, working at the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) transmitter facility, Gakona, Alaska, successfully produced a sustained high density plasma cloud in Earth’s upper atmosphere.

“Previous artificial plasma density clouds have lifetimes of only ten minutes or less,” said Paul Bernhardt, Ph.D., NRL Space Use and Plasma Section. “This higher density plasma ‘ball’ was sustained over one hour by the HAARP transmissions and was extinguished only after termination of the HAARP radio beam.”

These glow discharges in the upper atmosphere were generated as a part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) sponsored Basic Research on Ionospheric Characteristics and Effects (BRIOCHE) campaign to explore ionospheric phenomena and its impact on communications and space weather.

Using the 3.6-megawatt high-frequency (HF) HAARP transmitter, the plasma clouds, or balls of plasma, are being studied for use as artificial mirrors at altitudes 50 kilometers below the natural ionosphere and are to be used for reflection of HF radar and communications signals.

Past attempts to produce electron density enhancements have yielded densities of 4 x 105 electrons per cubic centimeter (cm3) using HF radio transmissions near the second, third, and fourth harmonics of the electron cyclotron frequency. This frequency near 1.44 MHz is the rate that electrons gyrate around the Earth’s magnetic field.

The NRL group succeeded in producing artificial plasma clouds with densities exceeding 9 x 105 electrons cm3 using HAARP transmission at the sixth harmonic of the electron cyclotron frequency.

Optical images of the artificial plasma balls show that they are turbulent with dynamically changing density structures. Electrostatic waves generated by the HAARP radio transmissions are thought to be responsible for accelerating electrons to high enough energy to produce the glow discharge in the neutral atmosphere approaching altitudes of nearly 170 kilometers.

The artificial plasma clouds are detected with HF radio soundings and backscatter, ultrahigh frequency (UHF) radar backscatter, and optical imaging systems. Ground measurements of stimulated electromagnetic emissions provide evidence of the strength and frequency for the electrostatic waves that accelerated ambient electrons to ionizing velocities.

The NRL team is working with collaborators at SRI International, University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of Florida, and BAE Systems on this project to synthesize the observations with parametric interactions theory to develop a comprehensive theory of the plasma cloud generation. The next HAARP campaign, scheduled for early 2013, will include experiments to develop denser, more stable ionization clouds.

Purdue University Professor Ian Lindsay’s front yard garden

This interview was posted by George Packard.  The description reads:

Published on Oct 9, 2012

When Purdue University professor Ian Lindsay and his wife moved to a suburban lot in West Lafayette, IN, several years ago they decided to put their extra energy and time into growing food, rather than lawn, in their front yard. I discovered Ian’s garden on a bike ride last summer, and talked with him about the politics of food choices, front yard garden aesthetics, and the wisdom of drip irrigation.

“Polluted America” – Paul Craig Roberts

Source: Truthbeautynow.org
Source: Truthbeautynow.org

Paul Craig Roberts begins, “In the United States, everything is polluted.”

The entire article, pasted below is worth reading, as Roberts touches on a whole lot of what troubles this planet’s inhabitants today.  I have placed emphasis on the section about the overuse of glyphosate in industrial farming and the recent decision by the FDA to deregulate the sale of Monsanto’s genetically engineered alfalfa.  The debate to approve Monsanto’s alfalfa has been raging since 2005, as it is the last staple crop for small-scale, organic farmers who raise livestock in colder climates.  I also highlight the section where Roberts reports on the “constraints” that “agribusiness” puts on independent scientist’s research into pesticide-laden, industrialized farming practices.

♠♠

“Polluted America” by Paul Craig Roberts

Democracy is polluted with special interests and corrupt politicians.

Accountability is polluted with executive branch exemptions from law and the Constitution and with special legal privileges for corporations, such as the Supreme Court given right to corporations to purchase American elections.

The Constitution is polluted with corrupt legal interpretations from the Bush and Obama regimes that have turned constitutional prohibitions into executive branch rights, transforming law from a shield of the people into a weapon in the hands of government.

Waters are polluted with toxic waste spills, oil spills, chemical fertilizer run-off with resulting red tides and dead zones, acid discharges from mining with resulting destructive algae such as prymnesium parvum, from toxic chemicals used in fracking and with methane that fracking releases into wells and aquifers, resulting in warnings to homeowners near to fracking operations to open their windows when showering.

The soil’s fertility is damaged, and crops require large quantities of chemical fertilizers. The soil is polluted with an endless array of toxic substances and now with glyphosate, the main element in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide with which GMO crops are sprayed. Glyphosate now shows up in wells, streams and in rain.

Air is polluted with a variety of substances, and there are many large cities in which there are days when the young, the elderly, and those suffering with asthma are warned to remain indoors.

All of these costs are costs imposed on society and ordinary people by corporations that banked profits by not having to take the costs into account. This is the way in which unregulated capitalism works.

Our food itself is polluted with antibiotics, growth hormones, pesticides, and glyphosate.

Glyphosate might be the most dangerous development to date. Some scientists believe that glyphosate has the potential to wipe out our main grain crops and now that Obama’s Secretary of Agriculture, Thomas Vilsack, has approved genetically modified Roundup Ready alfalfa, maintaining sustainable animal herds for milk and meat could become impossible.

Alfalfa is the main forage crop for dairy and beef herds. Genetically modified alfalfa could be unsafe for animal feed, and animal products such as milk and meat could become unsafe for human consumption.

On January 17, 2011, Dr. Don Huber outlined the dangers of approving Roundup Ready alfalfa in a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack. Huber requested that approval be delayed until independent research could evaluate the risks. Vilsack ignored Huber’s letter and ten days later deregulated Roundup Ready alfalfa on January 27, thus accommodating Monsanto’s desire for monopoly profits that come from the company’s drive to control the seed supply of US and world agriculture by approving Roundup Ready alfalfa.

Who is Don Huber, and why is his letter important?

Huber is professor emeritus at Purdue University. He has been a plant pathologist and soil microbiologist for a half century. He has an international reputation as a leading authority. In the US military, he evaluated natural and manmade biological threats, such as germ warfare and disease outbreaks and retired with the rank of Colonel. For the USDA he coordinates the Emergent Diseases and Pathogens Committee. In other words, he is high up in his scientific profession.

You can read online what Huber told the Secretary of Agriculture. Briefly, the outcome of many years of Roundup Ready GMO corn and soybeans has been a decline in nutritional value, the outbreak of new plant diseases resulting in widespread crop failures, and severe reproductive problems in livestock, with some herds having a spontaneous abortion rate that is too high to maintain a profitable business.

Glyphosate is a powerful biocide. It harms beneficial soil organisms, altering the natural balance in the soil and reducing the disease resistance of crops, thus unleashing diseases that devastate corn, soybean, and wheat crops, and giving rise to a new pathogen associated with premature animal aging and infertility. These developments, Huber told the Agriculture Secretary, “are threatening the economic viability of both crop and animal producers.” The evidence seems to be real that genetically modified crops have lost their genetic resistance to diseases that never previously were threats.

There is evidence that the new pathogen is related to a rise in human infertility and is
likely having adverse effects on human health of which we are still uninformed. Like fluoride, glyphosate might enter our diet in a variety of ways. For example, the label on
a bottle of Vitamin D says, “Other ingredients: soybean oil, corn oil.”

Monsanto disputes Huber’s claims and got support for its position from the agricultural extension services of Iowa State and Ohio State universities. However, the question is whether these are independently funded services or corporate supported, and there is always the element of professional rivalry, especially for funding, which comes mainly from agribusiness.

The Purdue University extension service was more circumspect. On the one hand it admits that there is evidence that supports Huber’s claims: “The claim that herbicides, such as glyphosate, can make plants more susceptible to disease is not entirely without merit. Research has indicated that plants sprayed with glyphosate or other herbicides are more susceptible to many biological and physiological disorders (Babiker et al., 2011; Descalzo et al., 1996; Johal and Rahe, 1984; Larson et al., 2006; Means and Kremer, 2007; Sanogo et al., 2000; Smiley et al., 1992). . . . Although some research indicates there is an increase in disease severity on plants in the presence of glyphosate, it does NOT necessarily mean that there is an impact on yield.”

On the other hand, the Purdue extension service maintains its recommendation for “judicious glyphosate use for weed control.” However, one of Huber’s points is that weeds are developing Roundup resistance. Use has gone beyond the “judicious” level and as glyphosate builds up in soil, its adverse effects increase.

A submission to the Environmental Protection Agency by 26 university entomologists describes the constraints that agribusiness has put on the ability of independent scientists to conduct objective research. The submission, in which the scientists are afraid to reveal their names because of the threat of funding cutoffs, is included as an item in one of the bibliographical references below. Here is the statement:

“The names of the scientists have been withheld from the public docket because virtually all of us require cooperation from industry at some level to conduct our research. Statement: Technology/stewardship agreements required for the purchase of genetically modified seed explicitly prohibit research. These agreements inhibit public scientists from pursuing their mandated role on behalf of the public good unless the research is approved by industry. As a result of restricted access, no truly independent research can be legally conducted on many critical questions regarding the technology, its performance, its management implications, IRM, and its interactions with insect biology. Consequently, data flowing to an EPA Scientific Advisory Panel from the public sector is unduly limited.”

Monsanto is not only sufficiently powerful to prevent any research other than that which it purchases with its funding, but also Monsanto succeeded last year in blocking with money and propaganda the GMO labeling law in California. I would tell you to be careful what you eat as it can make you ill and infertile, but you can’t even find out what you are eating.

You live in America, which has “freedom and democracy” and “accountable” government and ”accountable” corporations. You don’t need to worry. The government and responsible corporations are taking good care of you. Especially Obama, Vilsack, and Monsanto.

♠♠

For more on the work of Paul Craig Roberts, click here.

“Sleeping geothermal giant stirs” – Forbes

Source: Forbes
Source: Forbes

Mackinnon Lawrence contributes this article for Forbes magazine on “several important developments” in early 2013 as concerns geothermal energy in the U.S..

He writes:

Rumblings in the geothermal power sector have been highlighted in early 2013 by several important developments.  Geothermal startup AltaRock Energy, which is backed by Google, Khosla Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, and Vulcan Capital, has reported cost reductions through the successful creation of multiple engineered geothermal areas from a single drilled well at its Newberry project outside of BendOregon.  JP Morgan, meanwhile, has purchased an interest in eight existing geothermal plants owned and operated by a U.S.-based subsidiary of Ormat Technologies.

These announcements signal a likely expansion in geothermal activity over the next decade.  Although the levelized cost of geothermal power is competitive with fossil fuel-based plants, the drilling required to exploit resources involves significant risk and requires large capital outlays, with often speculative ROI potential.

These obstacles have confined geothermal prospecting to low-risk, high-return resources in proven rift zones or volcanically active parts of the world where naturally occurring pockets of steam or hot water are close to the Earth’s surface.  Due to these limitations, geothermal power capacity currently stands at 11 GW worldwide, representing less than 0.2% of installed generation capacity globally.

Once geothermal sources are tapped, the steam-powered energy that they produce is continuous.   Lawrence writes:

However, the recent JP Morgan/Ormat deal underscores the stable revenue potential of conventional geothermal power once a plant is up and running.  After a resource has been identified and proven viable, geothermal power plants can provide reliable and emissions-free baseload power with capacity factors greater than 90%.  Although resources must be managed carefully, plants do not require fuel delivery infrastructure like coal or natural gas plants since they sit directly atop active steam fields.  These attributes make geothermal power particularly attractive to investors and among the most enticing of emerging renewable technologies.

Read the full article, click here.