Carl Kruse Blog - 893 kitchen

Black Miso Cod

By Carl Kruse

Black miso cod is shorthand for Nobu and this dish single-handedly launched a culinary empire when it first appeared 30 years ago to be quickly copied by restaurants everywhere. Delicious and easy to master the idea is to marinate black cod fillets in mirin, sake, white miso, and sugar for three days, broil, and present in spare fashion.

“Certain dishes are like that famous obelisk in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey,” restaurant critic Adam Platt says. “When it lands in their midst, the apes have never seen anything like it, and they are changed forever. Miso cod was one of those dishes.”

The Michelin Guide has stripped Nobu restaurants of their stars, but miso cod forever changed menus everywhere. Here the rendition of the dish at “893,” which could be the best Asian restaurant in Berlin, even if the place has just mostly appropriated much of Nobu’s philosophy.

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Pandemics Affect Plants as Well

by Donna Kruse for the Carl Kruse Blog

People aren’t the only living things susceptible to illness. Plant diseases can spread quickly and devastate ecosystems. Due to environmental changes, global trade, crop transportation, and over-farming singular crops, many scientists warn of a future plant pandemic that is genuinely alarming.

How Quickly Plant Diseases Spread

The world grows a lot of wheat, rice, and corn. Not only do humans consume these foods, but much of it is grown to feed animals in large farms. But monoculture, that is, growing just one crop on a large amount of continuous farmland, could jeopardize the global food system, as it makes spreading plant disease incredibly easy. 

Consider the amount of social distancing people did in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. Plants don’t have this luxury; they grow huddled together. Growing a variety of plants closer together is one way to slow the spread of plant disease so it can be identified and managed in time. 

The Svalbard Seed Vault Project 

Crop safety concerns have led to the creation of seed backup facilities like the Svalbard Seed Vault. The seed vault is located in arctic Norway and dubbed “The Doomsday Vault” as it’s built to withstand apocalyptic conditions. Many of the world’s seed varieties are stored there, and because seeds don’t last forever, they will have to be monitored and swapped out over time. The vault houses more than 1 million seeds. 

Entrance to the Svalbard Seed Vault

Other Plant Protections

Crop scientists are using smart technology like disease mapping to help prevent devastating plant pandemics. Just like viruses that infect humans, plant fungi and other disease-causing agents adapt and change quickly. Because of this, biochemists are trying to breed disease-resistant plants to stop some of these sicknesses before they start. 

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Art of War
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Art of War

by Aarti Couture for the Carl Kruse Blog

The Art of War, widely attributed to the Chinese general and philosopher Sun Tzu (circa 496 BCE), has become something of a guide for those seeking success in business, sports, or life in general. A book of military strategy that often focuses on alternatives to actual combat, such as delays, tactical retreats, and the avoidance of war altogether, its wisdom has been praised by Napoleon Bonaparte, Ho Chi Minh and Ulysses S. Grant. It is still widely read by generals and business people today. 

Sun Tzu

Covering many aspects of warfare, The Art of War seeks to advise commanders on how to prepare, mobilize, attack, defend, and treat the vanquished during war. One of the most influential texts in history, it has been used by strategists for over 2,000 years.

Some of the principles of the Art of War include:

  1. “He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.”  –  This can be applied to everyday life as the concept of choosing your battles.  Knowing when to engage and when not to is an important part of life. Much of the content in The Art of War advises how to pick the right time and place for conflict to occur, if it really needs to occur at all.  Applying this to everyday life can often mean the result between success and failure. 
  2. “The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim.”  – This concept in everyday life is that timing is essential.  Once a decision is made, it should be executed immediately. If you linger on a decision this allows for opportunity to slip.
  3. “It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.” – The most important point that “The Art of War” makes is that information matters. In everyday life, data is key to success, whether it be business, sports or personal communication.
  4. “All warfare is based on deception.” – Having a unique plan is very important in business.  In order to win, in whatever you choose, you must differentiate your strategy from others. It is essential in business that one keep their strategy close so that their rival cannot anticipate it, just like in war. 
  5. “When able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.” – Disguising your plans so that your enemy cannot guess your strategy is essential in war and in life.  If you want to start a business but need to learn the strategy to do so by your current job, you would not tell your boss your plans.  Keeping your plan close to home can be beneficial in many aspects of life. 
  6. “To win 100 battles is not the height of skill, to subdue the enemy without fighting is.” – The best strategy is to not fight at all. In war and in life, if a problem can be solved by diplomacy rather than a battle, always choose diplomacy. This concept is that of resourcefulness. The more resourceful you are in life, the more opportunities you will have. 
  7. “In the midst of chaos, there is opportunity.”  – Here Sun Tzu advises generals to always prepare for the worst and the only way to get ahead is to take right risks.  In real life, people miss opportunities when they become fixated on protecting themselves from change and keeping the status quo.
  8. “Opportunities multiply as they are seized.”  – In war and in life, success breeds more success.  A small action could lead to much better and bigger opportunities in the future. For example, applying to the job you thought you may not get could lead you to a position in that company that is right for you, which could open the door to more opportunities in the future.
  9. “There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare.” -In this, Sun Tzu points out that no one wins in prolonged war. Both sides lose.  It is best to strike efficiently and effectively. In real life, if two businesses are embroiled in a lawsuit for years this will burn through resources and energy as opposed to coming to a quick solution. 

The Art of War is revered to this day for its advice for everyday life as well as war.   
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The Rainbow Village In Tawain 

by Deanna Balestra for the Carl Kruse Blog

Former soldier Huang Yung-fu fled from China to Taiwan and lived in a makeshift village thrown together to house exiled military members like himself and their families. This village was meant to be temporary, but it eventually became home. Forty years later, the nearly abandoned village was set to be demolished by the government. That’s when Huang, who would become known as the “rainbow grandpa”, got to work. 

With no formal training or previous artistic experience, Huang started to paint the walls of his home using all the vibrant colors of the rainbow. He was feeling lonely and used art to spark happiness all around him. He painted a small bird; he then added cats and people and an assortment of unique characters. Mainly, he flooded the village with bright colors. 

The surrounding villages fell in love and started a campaign to save the village from being demolished. In 2010 a local university student helped make that a reality with a petition and a series of photos. It is now a protected cultural center and a point of focus for tourism. Over 1 million people each year come to visit the Rainbow Village. This once downtrodden village, on the brink of oblivion, is now full of youthful glee and imagination. 

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Huang-Yung-fu, the “rainbow grandpa”

The Rainbow Village was once home to 1,200 families and full of life. Huang has filled it with life once more with his artwork. Now new families can come and walk the streets of this beautiful village with surprises around every corner. Today, every surface is covered in paint, including the streets. It’s a wonderful photo opportunity for Instagram-worthy vacation pics. Huang is 96 years old now but still painting. He’s a testament that all things are worth saving, and you don’t have to be a professional artist to share your vision with the world. 

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Ham Acting

by Hazel Anna Rogers for the Carl Kruse Blog

The phrase ‘ham’ acting has rather intriguing origins, and whether these origins are mythical or indeed candid does not make them any less humorous.

One theory proposes that ‘ham’ is a mere shortening of the bard’s famed play, ‘Hamlet’, which might be apt considering that the term is used pejoratively to suggest overacting or excessive theatricality, which was a feature of many actors’ approach to playing the maddened, grieving prince. Another theory, propounded in an article by The Hindu, suggests that the dubbing of actors as ‘ham’, or, rather brilliantly, ‘hamfatters’, purportedly arose from the need for poorer actors to use pig lard or fat to remove their make-up, as creams were too expensive.

I had not encountered the term ‘ham’ in an acting context prior to picking up a copy of Stanislavski’s tome ‘An Actor Prepares’, which is the fictionalized ‘journal’ (of sorts) of an amateur acting student beginning training at a Russian acting school teaching by way of the Stanislavski system. This form of training focuses on the ‘art of experiencing’, or, more commonly, ‘method’ acting, though there may be some slight difference between the two terms, as the latter came later. Rather than toying with my own definition of the ‘art of experiencing’, read this here description of the art by Stanislavski himself in ‘An Actor Prepares’:

‘When you begin to study each role you should first gather all the materials that have any bearing on it, and supplement them with more and more imagination, until you have achieved such a similarity to life that it is easy to believe in what you are doing. In the beginning, forget about your feelings. When the inner conditions are prepared, and right, feelings will come to the surface of their own accord.’

What Stanislavski dubs as ‘ham’, hence, goes like this:

‘The mistake most actors make is that they think not about the action but the result. They bypass the action and go straight for the result. What you get then is ham, playing the result, forcing, stock-in-trade.’ (An Actor Prepares).

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Konstantin Stanislavski

I must admit that I was quite humored when Stanislavski began elaborating on so-called ‘amateur’ ham, ‘engrained’ or ‘professional’ ham, and the like. In his book, Stanislavski claims that ‘amateur’ ham is rather easy to take care of; it can be remedied by ‘proper’ acting training and by being called out, rather than being allowed to fester and grow. The real tragedy is when ham is permitted to develop and expand, like a tumor, into something all the more terrifying and irretrievable. This ‘professional’ or ‘engrained’ ham is what we see in many of our theaters today. Brecht discusses this form of prolific ham in some of the pages of ‘Brecht on Theatre’, a collection of discussions and musings of the dramaturge himself. Brecht contemplates, in his ‘Emphasis on Sport’, published in the Berliner Borsen-Courier in 1926, whether ‘there has ever been such an overworked, misused, panic-driven, artificially-whipped up band of actors as ours.’ Though Brecht does not explicitly use the word ‘ham’ when describing the worsening state of the acting world, it seems probable that his ‘artificially-whipped up band of actors’ is much the same as Stanislavski’s ‘ham’. Brecht furthers his discontent with how actors are treated and how they act in this statement:

‘[T]here are not enough rehearsals and he [the young actor] is continually in demand; as a result he is forced to give a more or less stereotyped performance. A promising actress, flung too soon into major plays, gets given the part of Elizabeth or Magdalen, and has to take refuge in superficialities in order to make up for lack of experience; all it can teach her is the art of getting out a jam. These people are being over-exploited.’ (‘A Reckoning’ – published in Sinn und Form in 1957)

I must sadly declare that I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments of Brecht and Stanislavski. Even decades after they both warned against the rise of the ‘ham’ actor in all his various forms, we still see the proliferation of such acting in many arenas of theater, film, and television. Peter Brook, writing in his renowned book of lectures ‘The Empty Space’ (1968), has a term which describes what theater becomes when ‘ham’ and ‘artificially-whipped’ actors develop as the center of it: Deadly Theater. I know that I’m quoting an awful lot in this article, but this section of Brook’s book is worth a moment of your time before I elaborate on my own experience with ‘ham’ and its derivatives in Deadly Theater:

‘The Deadly Theatre can at first sight be taken for granted, because it means bad theatre.

As this is the form of theatre we see most often, and as it is most closely linked to the despised, much-attacked commercial theatre it might seem a waste of time to criticize it further. But it is only if we see that deadliness is deceptive and can appear anywhere, that we will become aware of the size of the problem […] as a whole, the theatre not only fails to elevate or instruct, it hardly even entertains.

[…] we do not need the ticket agents to tell us that the theatre has become a deadly business […] the Deadly Theatre finds its deadly way into grand opera and tragedy, into the plays of Moliere and the plays of Brecht.

Of course, nowhere does the Deadly Theatre install itself so securely, so comfortably and so slyly as in the works of William Shakespeare. The Deadly Theatre takes easily to Shakespeare. We see his plays done by good actors in what seems like the proper way—they look lively and colourful, there is music and everyone is all dressed up, just as they are supposed to be in the best of classical theatres. Yet secretly we find it excruciatingly boring—and in our hearts we either blame Shakespeare, or theatre as such, or even ourselves. To make matters worse there is always a deadly spectator, who for special reasons enjoys a lack of intensity and even a lack of entertainment, such as the scholar who emerges from routine performances of the classics smiling because nothing has distracted him from trying over and confirming his pet theories to himself, whilst reciting his favourite lines under his breath. In his heart he sincerely wants a theatre that is nobler-than-life and he confuses a sort of intellectual satisfaction with the true experience for which he craves. Unfortunately, he lends the weight of his authority to dullness and so the Deadly Theatre goes on its way.’ (Brook, pp. 7-9, 1968)

You can perhaps now reason with the sheer breadth of the problem. Deadly Theatre has infiltrated not only the doors of the theater itself, but also the lives of its audiences and critics. The public does not know what it desires because it thinks that it desires ham, or deadliness, because these things clothe themselves in garish costumes and bright makeup and try to make us believe that this is what theater is; brash and bawdy entertainment which leaves us with nothing but a steep popcorn bill at the end of it all. Theater, at present (and as a whole, though of course there are some theatres attempting to reverse this entrenched issue), does not make us think, nor asks us to interact with it or take it home with us to our beds and to our work desks and into our very real lives. Theater has been encased in a charade of deadliness which we take for granted to indeed be ‘theater’. But it does not have to be this way. We have always looked to theater when we need to explain and reason with our changing times. Ritual theater, religious theater, in fact all theatrical traditions – these are present in every single community around the world and have been since the start of time. Theater should not be seen as separate from life; it is a part of life. We are all acting, all the time. We act to find love, we act to find and keep work, we take on different roles to sate the requirements for every social interaction that we encounter in our lives. The theater as an establishment should not just be passive entertainment; it should ask us questions that we must decipher late at night, staring up at our ceilings, and it should ask us to continue the work that it began on the stage by implementing the lessons we have learned into our own theater of life.

I recently went to a show in London with my twin sister. That show was ‘The Prince of Egypt’, a stage-version of the DreamWorks animated film. This was not the sort of theater that I would normally put my money towards, but the original film which the musical was built off of is rather dear in the hearts of my sister and I. We have many a childhood memory of the film, and though we quote it and refer to it ironically for the most part, the songs and images from the film are quite nostalgic to us both. Thus, when I came across an advert for the show on YouTube, we decided to buy tickets to the show.

The theater was packed. We found our seats easily and sat waiting excitedly for the action to begin. The first song, ‘Deliver Us’ was performed rather well; the dancers and singers and orchestra united in a fervent call for deliverance from their slavehood, and the whole thing was quite affecting, what with the simulated whipping of slaves and the convulsing bodies of the suffering performers. But the singing of the soloists did not bode well for the rest of the show. The voice of Jochebed, mother of Moses, was almost annoyingly excessive in its misery, while the voice of Moses’ sister, Miriam, was false and overly sweet in tone. I do not deny the talent or skill of either singer – I probably could not project my voice as powerfully or as tunefully as they – but this does not take from the fact that I could smell the ham the minute they had respectively sung their first words.  

Ham followed, and ham continued. Every single acting scene in the musical was tainted by my knowledge of the Deadly Theatre, with actors grovelling to such an excess that I found hilarity in their apparently sincere performances. Some of the lines were spoken so haughtily and falsely that I found myself switching between snickering and cringing throughout the three hours of the performance. The stage itself was just as gaudy as the actors upon it. Constantly shifting colors and imaging and lights and props attempted to make the play into something real, something concrete, yet all they seemed to do in my eyes was falsify and deplete the musical even more than the actors did. This was ham in the flesh.

Yes, I had fun, and yes, I sung along to some of the songs. I enjoyed being with my sister, sitting in a big theater watching a show. However, I cannot condone what I saw that night, and I cannot dismiss the disgust I felt when I realized that ham was very real, and not likely to disappear anytime soon.

I do not have a remedy for ham, except that, when I begin my acting studies next year, I will try to reject ham with all my might. I should probably also acknowledge that I have, regrettably, partaken in ham during my time in the acting world. When playing Isabella in Measure for Measure, I must admit that, due primarily to nerves, I resorted to cliches of acting that I knew to be ham in practice. Examples of my personal ham in this instance were: unnecessary straining of the voice, as though clambering to be heard; embarrassingly repetitive vocal toning when sad/angry/challenged; ridiculously excessive and monotonous pacing over the stage (particularly when in rage); and induced weeping. I will add, though, that I don’t believe I acted especially badly, as I think that I did indeed genuinely ‘experience’ some moments in the play.

On one particular instance, I remember feeling so in tune with my Isabella that I forgot where I was, and truly forgot that I was acting at all. At the end of the second act of Measure for Measure, there is a moment where Angelo becomes so overcome in his infatuation for Isabella that he strikes up a deal; he will spare her brother’s life (Claudio, who had impregnated his fiancée Juliet prior to their marriage, thus was condemned to death) in exchange for Isabella’s virginity. Isabella then proceeds to tell Angelo that she will expose him publicly for his lascivious ‘deal’. At this point in our production, I was sat smugly in Angelo’s own office chair. Angelo was facing the front of the stage. He was momentarily silent. Then, he asked that dreadful question: ‘Who will believe thee, Isabel?’ Once this line had been uttered, Angelo waltzed over to me. He started to touch and fondle me and, finally, tugged on my hair as he expressed his most odious intentions. I was terrified in that moment. Angelo pulled so very hard on my hair and spoke his words so vehemently that I felt his spittle land onto my quivering cheek. He then left the stage. I was alone, gazing at the lights, my eyes brimming. I waited. I did not know what to say. Then, it came to me:

To whom should I complain? Did I tell this,

Who would believe me? O perilous mouths,

That bear in them one and the self-same tongue,

Either of condemnation or approof;

Bidding the law make court’sy to their will:

Hooking both right and wrong to the appetite,

To follow as it draws! I’ll to my brother:

Though he hath fallen by prompture of the blood,

Yet hath he in him such a mind of honour.

That, had he twenty heads to tender down

On twenty bloody blocks, he’ld yield them up,

Before his sister should her body stoop

To such abhorr’d pollution.

Then, Isabel, live chaste, and, brother, die:

More than our brother is our chastity.

I’ll tell him yet of Angelo’s request,

And fit his mind to death, for his soul’s rest.

The lights went dark, and I choked as my tears began to flow. A slow clap resounded throughout the hall. There was no ham anywhere to be seen. The deadliness of my own theater had fallen away, and I could not breath so incessantly my tears did fall.

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by Vittorio Compagno for the Carl Kruse Blog

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a significant technological breakthrough with ongoing improvements enabling algorithms to not only absorb and understand data, but also learn on its own.

There seems no limit as to how far you can go. Many operations might be automated with the aid of well-trained AI. Machines can accomplish repetitive tasks far more quickly and better than humans can. With the knowledge and precision of a machine algorithm trained for that purpose exclusively, sectors such as worldwide commerce, city traffic management, healthcare, and many others might be considerably improved.

However, like with many human inventions, the more advanced a breakthrough is, the more harmful it might be if it is misused. People with evil intent might manipulate AI to carry out destructive activities just as they could with nuclear power. If employed incorrectly, AI might become a powerful weapon capable of causing conflicts around the world.

For that reason, there are still many misconceptions and fears about the fair use of AI, as there would be for any new technology.

Two experts in this area of research, with extensive experience with AI, have been invited to a SETI talk to explore the advantages of using AI for the future of society. Alex Lavin and Siddha Ganju, scientists, inventors, and business people,who have also been involved with the Frontier Development Lab (FDL)., a consortium that includes the SETI Institute, NASA, Trillium Technologies, and innovators in industrial AI, space research, and environmental science.

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Its goal is to apply AI technology to address challenging space flight challenges.

These AI experts share profound concerns about the usage of the technology and will propose solutions to alleviate the negative effects and hazards posed by this technology.

Mediated by James Parr, Trillium Technologies CEO and FDL affiliate, the discussion will focus on how AI can improve human productivity with its numerous capabilities.

Carl Kruse, of the Princeton Alumni Association of Germany and of the Carl Kruse Blogs, sponsors this SETI Talks.

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Quick Peek at the Art of Atari

by Aarti Couture for the Carl Kruse Blog

The Art of Atari by Tim Lapetino is a 354 page, hardcover masterpiece for gamers and non-gamers everywhere. Atari is one of the most recognizable names in the world.  Since the company was formed in 1972, it has been responsible for creating some of the most iconic games including Space Invaders, Asteroids, Yar’s Revenge, Missile Command and many more. It was also responsible for exposing many people to video games for the first time.  A little known fact about the company is that they commissioned original artwork to enhance the experience that was Atari. The Art of Atari is the collection of this artwork, sourced from private collections across the world and spanning more than 40 years. In the Carl Kruse Arts Blog, there is a longer piece on this book, which included unique illustrations used in the packaging, advertisements, catalogs, and more.

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The book itself at the Carl Kruse office

The Art of Atari includes behind the scenes details of how the featured games were illustrated and either approved or rejected as well as the process to bring them to life. Atari created hundreds of games for arcades as well as home consoles, each with unique, commissioned artwork. The artwork in most games is what catches the eye at first, yet it was the developers who got all the glory. Art of Atari changes that. Chats and other information in the Art of Atari highlight the artists often forgotten when we look back at the history of these video games. This book cheers those who crafted the beautiful imagery that appeared on and off screen. Those few pixels inspired gamers the world over to play countless hours on end.  Whether you are a collector, enthusiast, art fan or gamer this book is a piece of gaming history that can be enjoyed by everyone, no matter if you played an Atari game or not.


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Retrofitting Classic Cars with Electricity

My friend Fraser Hibbitt takes a quick look at retrofitting classic cars with electric power trains. – Carl Kruse


The fossil fuel industry must be phased out if countries worldwide are to tackle the overwhelming force of climate change. The draining of crude oil for our cars has seen checks in both the UK and the EU – all newly manufactured cars will have to operate on electricity by 2030 in the UK and by 2035 in the EU. Cars of old will still roam, perhaps just becoming more conspicuous as to their sound and to the breathing of their exhaust pipes.

The slim soundless cars of electricity embody the long perspective on climate change quite fittingly. They are clean, quiet, and the electric battery is more efficient than the internal combustion engine (ICE). The change, of course, is welcome news to sustainability; it is an undeniable step that must be taken.

Curiously enough, the change has provoked a ‘decadent-like’ focus on aesthetics. The ‘futuristic’ look of many electric-powered vehicles doesn’t stir the same imagination as a classic, loud-engined, look of say a Dodge Charger, a Corvette.

Come now. This beauty now has an electric motor.

The top-down approach of government mandate has produced a bottom-up ingenuity in dealing with the aesthetic problem. It is called Retrofitting. This enables classic cars to be refitted with an electric battery and the problematic ICE done away with, thus keeping alive a nostalgic aesthetic which continues to find reception above the new.

Technological improvement works hand in hand with evading our upcoming crisis. Advancements in battery power and efficiency continue to improve, and because of this, projects such as retrofitting are becoming a by-product of this trajectory. Retrofitting reminds us that as we press forward, we need not leave the past behind; it can stir us to remember and recollect what we find worth holding onto.

Retrofitting is a perfect example of new life in the midst of an old life waning. The transference of new age motors to the old is symbolic of the work needed to be done in our age, offering too, economically, a new avenue for mechanics in the field who will begin to feel the test of change.   

The re-fashioning of classic cars shows two things: resilience and a bowing down to necessity. Classic cars without the sound may be an eerie sight, but it also keeps alive the beauty of these crafted cars that still perform an elegant role. It is an age of transition in which the exploitative must needs be curbed, but that does not mean human craft, ingenuity, and the forms that capture our attention needs be stumped.

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SETI Talks on UAPS Coming Up

by Carl Kruse

It was confirmed, in 2017, that there existed a defense program in the United States that consisted of collecting data on UAP sightings. ‘UAP’, or Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, being the updated acronym for a ‘UFO’. Three years later, the United States’ intelligence committee voted for the Defence department to publicly record and analyse data on UAP. The discourse around this event seemed to centre around a kind of ‘military anxiety’ rather than anything to do with an extra-terrestrial threat.

A year after the push towards public recording of UAPs, a preliminary, unclassified, report was published by the U.S. Department of Defence. The report included images and videos taken by U.S. military personnel. They are explicit in stating they found objects which they were unable to identify, and of these unidentified objects, many that featured strange flight patterns. Again, there was no overt linking of these UAPs with anything extra-terrestrial, and, indeed, why should there be?

Photo: U.S. Navy

The public, and cultural, discourse of linking unidentified flying objects with extra-terrestrial technology is inundated with over a century’s worth of hoaxes, pseudo-science and conspiracy theories. It makes it difficult to establish a clear public report without the influence of this larger cultural attitude.

Nevertheless, the 2021 report published by the U.S. Department of Defense, also called the Pentagon UFO report, brings a stabilizing force of authenticity and veracity. If science hails itself as the objective mode of investigation into understanding unexplained phenomena, then the two ought to go hand in hand. Once the aspect of extra-terrestrial life is taken away from the equation, the discovery of UAPs becomes less shadowed by science-fiction, and becomes a ponderous unknown.

Carl Kruse has teamed up with the SETI Institute to sponsor a chat this coming Wednesday at 7pm Pacific time to tackle the question as to whether UAPs are worthy of scientific scrutiny. A press release for the event is here.

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Acts of Kindness During Covid

The first pandemic we’ve seen in a long time put a spotlight on some of the best, and worst of humanity. We witnessed selfish acts of panic buying, hoarding, and individualism that trumped public health, yet we also saw strangers moved to kindness and altruistic acts worldwide.

Anthropologist Margaret Mead once talked about a discovery that she believed proved a point in time where our altruism started to form a society. On a 15,000-year-old dig site, a broken and then healed femur bone was found. This is the earliest evidence we have of people taking care of others as they healed from a long-term injury rather than leaving them behind. 

From that point forward, cooperation and compassion started to form an entire system where we would live and work together, often making sacrifices to keep everyone together despite any disabilities or hardships they had. Here are some examples of kindness humans showed each other during one of the darkest times in recent history. 

  • Teachers and school administration staff worked to make sure every student had access to the technology needed for virtual education and free food for breakfast and lunch while they worked from home. 
  • Community members in an apartment in Italy started to sing to each other from their balconies. 
  • People used social media platforms like TikTok to raise funds to leave massive tips for food service workers and delivery drivers. 
  • People all over broke out their sewing needles and fabric to make each other masks when there was a shortage of PPE. 
  • Distilleries around the world switched from making alcoholic beverages to hand sanitizer to fight the spread of germs. 
  • People made sure their elderly home-bound neighbors didn’t run out of food and were able to pick up medications. 
  • Birthday parades became popular and sometimes people from the neighborhood and even first responders would look for parades they could join to make a kid’s birthday special. 
  • People made self-care packages for people in isolation who had been exposed to the virus. 
  • Doctors and nurses set up iPad visits between sick patients and their loved ones and stood by the bedsides of strangers so they wouldn’t have to be sick or die alone. 

While we saw many videos surface of people being selfish and childish about mask-wearing, or ripping the last roll of toilet paper away from someone’s granny at the market, we saw a lot of good, too. Hopefully, we can take some of this kindness with us into 2021 and beyond. 

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