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US: These city bus routes are going all-electric
19 October 2017 - Two years ago, the Transit Authority of River City in Louisville, Kentucky, bought 10 electric buses to replace its aging diesel fleet. The agency installed two on-route chargers, where the buses now stop to recharge in less than 10 minutes before continuing their downtown route. A few hours to the south in Nashville, Tennessee, nine electric buses have been running fixed routes around the Music City since 2015. And across the country in Park City, Utah, the local transit authority recently purchased six electric buses to help reach a goal of a net-zero carbon footprint by 2022. (more)

Solar industry wants to build Puerto Rico's grid of the future
18 October 2017 - Puerto Rico is focused on restoring power as quickly as possible, but it can't ignore the chance to rethink its entire energy grid. The solar industry has taken particular interest in San Juan in the aftermath of the hurricane. It's primarily a humanitarian effort for these companies, but it's also a chance to showcase an energy source capable of enduring natural disasters. Tesla Inc. is sending its Powerwall battery systems and Sunrun has sent more than 12,000 pounds of solar products and equipment to the island. The Solar Energy Industries Association has received pledges for more than $1.2 million in product and monetary contributions from its network. (more)

US: Pioneering green energy town in Georgetown, Texas
18 October 2017 - Mayor Dale Ross of Georgetown -- a Texas town of 65,000 -- has become a minor celebrity in environmental circles as a result of a pioneering decision in 2015 to get all the city's electricity from renewable sources. Ross has appeared in a National Geographic documentary, a forthcoming film about clean energy for HBO directed by James Redford (son of Robert) and in this year's follow-up to An Inconvenient Truth, which saw the advocate and former vice-president Al Gore visit Georgetown. (more)

'This is the future': Solar-powered family car hailed by experts
17 October 2017 - A futuristic family car that not only uses the sun as power but supplies energy back to the grid has been hailed as 'the future' as the annual World Solar Challenge wrapped up in Australia. The innovative bi-annual contest, first run in 1987, began in Darwin a week ago with 41 vehicles setting off on a 3,000km (1,860-mile) trip through the heart of Australia to Adelaide. Cars in the race were mostly developed by universities or corporations, with teams hailing from around the world. (more)

US: Hilo World Peace Fest set for 21 October
17 October 2017 - The 8th Annual Hilo World Peace Festival will be held on Saturday, 21 October, in Hilo, Hawaii. The festival celebrates cultural diversity and promotes the creation of a peaceful world. The Hilo World Peace Festival was created to promote the spirit of aloha-the universal language of love that encourages acts to honor and revere our elders; to love, nurture and protect our children; and to respect the harmony of our families, thus creating a healthy community and island lifestyle. (more)

US: Largest solar array in Maine is now fully operational
12 October 2017 - Maine's largest solar array is now fully operational as the final 25 percent of the 26,000-panel array was brought online this week. The final part of the farm in Madison was brought online Wednesday, and the array will generate enough electricity to power 700 homes. The Madison array is one of several planned or in-development solar arrays around that region of Maine. (more)

Virtual interviewer prods veterans to reveal post-traumatic stress
12 October 2017 - Talking to a computer-generated interviewer named Ellie appears to free soldiers and veterans who served in war zones to disclose symptoms of post-traumatic stress, a new study finds. 'We believe this could be of value to veterans,' said study leader Gale Lucas, at the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies in Los Angeles. (more)

U.S. governors, hackers, academics team up to secure elections
9 October 2017 - Hackers are joining forces with U.S. governors and academics in a new group aimed at preventing the manipulation of voter machines and computer systems to sway the outcome of future U.S. elections, a source familiar with the project said on Monday (9 October). (more)

US: Most areas in Nate's path seem to have avoided major damage - including New Orleans
8 October 2017 - A fast-moving storm called Nate brought flooding and power outages to the U.S. Gulf Coast early Sunday after it sloshed ashore outside Biloxi, Mississippi -- the first hurricane to make landfall in that state since Katrina devastated the region 12 years ago. Authorities were beginning to assess the storm's impacts, but most areas in Nate's path seem to have avoided major damage -- including New Orleans. 'We are thankful because this looked like it was going to be a freight train barreling through the city,' said Vincent Creel, a spokesman for the city of Biloxi. (more)

Butterfly swarm shows up on Denver radar system
6 October 2017 - A colourful, shimmering spectacle detected by weather radar over the US state of Colorado has been identified as swarms of migrating butterflies. Scientists at the National Weather Service (NWS) first mistook the orange radar blob for birds and had asked the public to help identifying the species. They later established that the 70-mile wide (110km) mass was a kaleidoscope of Painted Lady butterflies. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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A baseball player's guide to a meaningful life
17 October 2017 - Entering college after enjoying 'ordered and predictable' years defined by the routines of high school baseball, Steven Baxter felt directionless, with 'no sense of connection to the future or, worse, no connection to myself.' Then, in his sophomore year, 'I went to a presentation at my school about Transcendental Meditation. After learning the technique, it was suddenly as if I wore a new and better prescription in my eyeglasses. TM brought focus. It smoothed the waves that buffeted me daily. . . . TM helped me to understand and appreciate where I was at any given moment. Knowing that, I felt like I could quickly and confidently set out on life's journey when it was time to do so. I had recalibrated my internal compass to True North.' (more)

Successful self-reinvention: The award-winning Susan Daniels
13 October 2017 - At a time in life when many women are retiring, Susan Daniels is earning her PhD in creative writing. Mother, author, nurse, with previous degrees including BSN (nursing) and MFA in writing, she says, 'I can't think of an area of my life that hasn't been affected for the better by the Transcendental Meditation practice.' She learned TM in 1973, and later on as 'busy parents with a growing business . . . meditating twice a day was the one thing that made it work.' Susan describes the many rewards she found, following an illness, when she decided to train as a nurse. And while in nursing school she started writing. She recently won a book prize that includes a publishing contract with New Rivers Press, a highly regarded literary press at Minnesota State University. (more)

David Lynch Foundation to honour Jane Fonda, Lena Dunham at 'Wonder Women' benefit in Los Angeles
5 October 2017 - In Los Angeles on 5 November, the David Lynch Foundation (DLF) will be honouring four 'Wonder Women' - Jill Black, Lena Dunham, Jane Fonda, and New Village Girls Academy principal, Dr. Andrea Purcell. The event is a benefit to support the the Foundation's Los Angeles programmes to bring the healing and transformative effects of Transcendental Meditation to underserved schoolchildren and veterans suffering from post traumatic stress. 'Together, we can build resilient communities in Los Angeles and help our city continue to shine throughout the world,' said Lynn Kaplan, DLF director in Los Angeles. (more)

The discovery that EEG coherence increases during Transcendental Meditation
30 September 2017 - Dr David Orme-Johnson continues his review of groundbreaking research on brain activity during Transcendental Meditation in the EEG lab at Maharishi European Research University (MERU) in the early 1970s. This work 'laid the foundation for measuring brain orderliness during the experience of transcending, and greatly expanded our knowledge of Transcendental Consciousness,' Dr Orme-Johnson said. The pioneering application of computers to calculate a precise measure of brain wave synchrony called coherence showed that the alpha1 EEG brain waves, which research had found to increase during TM and to be synchronous, were highly coherent across the brain. This work 'allowed us, and scientific research in general, to remove subjective judgement, and to detect and explore more subtle changes in global brain dynamics'. (more)

'Dancing With the Stars' host Tom Bergeron says Transcendental Meditation helps him keep his cool during a live show - ABC News
27 September 2017 - In a live show, anything can happen. But Tom Bergeron trusts he can handle it because he has been practising meditation for decades. The host of ABC TV's hit dancing competition show 'Dancing With the Stars', which kicked off its 25th season last week, said he has been practising Transcendental Meditation (TM) for over 35 years. Being a longtime meditator, he said, has been key in keeping his cool and 'respond[ing] appropriately' during a live show in front of a panel of judges, contestants and a studio audience. 'I trust that because of the practice, because of the investment of time and mental energy into being present, that I'm going . . . to somehow know how to roll with whatever happens,' Bergeron, 62, told ABC's Dan Harris during an interview for his podcast, '10% Happier.' (more)

Actor Hugh Jackman: 'Transcendental Meditation has helped me in every way, immeasurably.'
23 September 2017 - Eight months into practising Transcendental Meditation, actor Hugh Jackman had a very clear thought one day: 'Hang on! Meditation is the centre of it all, where all activities can spring from the deepest well possible. If I act or parent or be a husband or throw a baseball or wash up, if I do it after meditating, it's a whole different activity.' Since then Jackman has not made it a secret how much TM has impacted his life. 'I would say possibly equally to how marriage and kids did - I would put it right up there, in terms of things that have affected my life.' Describing how TM has helped him excel as an actor and deal with the high level of stress in his profession, he says: 'Your only tools you really have are being present, being clear, and listening. So, it helped me in every way, immeasurably.' (more)

US: Maharishi School alum wins contest to direct branded content commercial
20 September 2017 - Nathaniel Alexander recently graduated with an MFA degree from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, one of the most prestigious film schools in the US. Nathaniel grew up in Fairfield, Iowa, and attended Maharishi School and Maharishi University of Management, majoring in Media and Communications. 'I was given a lot of freedom to explore my own creativity,' he says. The USC School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles is very closely connected to Hollywood studios. In his third year, Nathaniel won a $50,000 contest, sponsored by PepsiCo, to write and direct a commercial for one of their products. He is now launching his own production company, 200 Percent. (more)

How these celebrities are helping veterans in a unique way
17 September 2017 - Veterans who battle post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have a tough go of it. Now, some celebrities - Tom Hanks, Mary-Louise Parker, and Kyle MacLachlan - are stepping up and participating in an October event to help our bravest deal with their afflictions. The benefit is being put on by the David Lynch Foundation - which is headed by filmmaker David Lynch, whose television show 'Twin Peaks' recently wrapped airing its third season on Showtime. All three actors will speak about Transcendental Meditation and how vital it's been to their successes, both personally and professionally. The goal of the event: to raise enough money to teach it to 1,000 veterans. (more)

Corporate Wellness Magazine features Transcendental Meditation in best practices to reduce employee stress, boost productivity
14 September 2017 - Corporate Wellness Magazine recently published a story on six key ways to reduce employee stress while maintaining efficiency. They report, 'Meditation has been proven to be one of the most effective stress reduction techniques, and can also boost employee productivity by enabling them to remain calm under pressure. Transcendental Meditation, or ''TM'', has long been a perennial favorite of successful companies.' (more)

How transcending optimizes your brain: Revolutionary TM research advanced the science of human potential
12 September 2017 - What happens to the brain when we practise Transcendental Meditation and transcend? Do we experience a new state of consciousness that's different from waking, dreaming, or sleeping? If so, how does that help us realize our highest human potential? 'These were some of the questions that our group of international researchers were trying to answer in the 1970s,' writes David Orme-Johnson, PhD, one of the principal researchers on the Transcendental Meditation technique worldwide, with over 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals. 'Based at Maharishi European Research University (MERU) in the Swiss and French Alps, we were on a quest to create a scientific portrait of Transcendental Consciousness' - the state experienced during practice of the TM technique. (more)


Flops
Short Summaries of Top Stories


U.S. government undercounted civilians killed by police
11 October 2017 - U.S. police killed 1,166 people -- more than three a day -- in 2015, but an official government count missed a majority of the deaths, a new study shows. The Guardian, a U.K.-based newspaper and media company with U.S. and international editions, counted 93 percent of the U.S. police-related deaths, while the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics counted only 45 percent, the report in PLOS Medicine found. 'It is kind of absurd that a British newspaper is able to do a better job counting the number of killings by police than the CDC or the Department of Justice,' said lead author Justin M. Feldman, a doctoral candidate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. (more)

Fake news is still here, despite efforts by Google, Facebook
9 October 2017 - Nearly a year after Facebook and Google launched offensives against fake news, they're still inadvertently promoting it -- often at the worst possible times. Online services designed to engross users aren't so easily retooled to promote greater accuracy, it turns out. Especially with online trolls, pranksters and more malicious types scheming to evade new controls as they're rolled out. (more)

Winds, floods, and fire: US ties record for costly weather
6 October 2017 - Howling winds, deadly floods, fire, and ice so far this year have pushed the U.S. into a tie for weather disasters that topped $1 billion in damages. There have been 15 costly disasters through September, tying 2011 for the most billion-dollar weather disasters for the first nine months of a year. The record for a year is 16, and the hurricane season is not over yet. Between 1980 and 2007, the U.S. averaged only four billion-dollar disasters per year. In the decade since, the country has averaged 11 per year. ...'Climate change is impacting extreme weather in ways we hadn't anticipated,' Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University said in an email. But an even bigger factor is that more people moving into harm's way 'has created massive amounts of exposure in regions prone to severe weather events,' said Mark Bove, a meteorologist at insurance giant Munich Re. (more)

Tropical Storm Nate pounds Central America, heads for U.S.
5 October 2017 - Tropical Storm Nate unleashed intense rainfall across much of Central America on Thursday (5 October), killing at least 3 in Costa Rica as it heads for the U.S. Gulf Coast where it is expected to strike as a hurricane this weekend. Nate is expected to strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane by the time it makes landfall on the U.S. Gulf Coast on Sunday, National Hurricane Center (NHC) spokesman Dennis Feltgen said. The storm will be 'near hurricane intensity' when it approaches the Yucatan Peninsula late on Friday, the NHC said. U.S. officials from Florida to Texas told residents on Thursday to prepare for the storm. A state of emergency was declared for 29 Florida counties and the city of New Orleans. 'The threat of the impact is increasing, so folks along the northern Gulf Coast should be paying attention to this thing,' Feltgen said. (more)

Liz Weston: Equifax just changed the rest of your life
2 October 2017 - Adding freezes to your credit reports is an appropriate response to the massive Equifax database breach that exposed the private information of 143 million Americans. ... But there are so many other ways the bad guys can use the information they stole, which included Social Security numbers, birthdates, addresses, and some driver's license numbers. (more)

Security firm finds some Macs vulnerable to 'firmware' attacks
29 September 2017 - Since 2015, Apple Inc has tried to protect its Mac line of computers from a form of hacking that is extremely hard to detect, but it has not been entirely successful in getting the fixes to its customers, according to research released on Friday (29 September) by Duo Security. ... But Duo surveyed 73,000 Mac computers operating in the real world and found that 4.2 percent of them were not running the firmware they should have been based on their operating system. In some models -- such as the 21.5-inch iMac released in late 2015 -- 43 percent of machines had out-of-date firmware. That left many Macs open to hacks like the 'Thunderstrike' attack, where hackers can control a Mac after plugging an Ethernet adapter into the machine's so-called thunderbolt port. (more)

CNN Exclusive: Russian-bought Black Lives Matter ad on Facebook targeted Baltimore and Ferguson
27 September 2017 - ...The decision to target the ad in those two cities offers the first look at how accounts linked to the Russian government-affiliated troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency used geographically targeted advertising to sow political chaos in the United States, the sources said. New descriptions of the Russian-bought ads shared with CNN suggest that the apparent goal of the Russian buyers was to amplify political discord and fuel an atmosphere of incivility and chaos . . . These ranged from posts promoting Black Lives Matter to posts promoting gun rights and the Second Amendment to posts warning about what they said was the threat undocumented immigrants posed to American democracy. Beyond the election, Russians have sought to raise questions about western democracies. The targeting issue is also important because, if it appears that the targeting was particularly sophisticated, questions may be raised about how the Russians knew where to direct their ads. ... (more)

One in five U.S. adolescents has sustained a concussion
26 September 2017 - Nearly 20 percent of American adolescents, or one in five, has suffered a concussion, according to newly released statistics. Boys and girls who played contact sports were the most vulnerable. Nearly one in three teen competitors in contact sports reported having had a concussion. The statistics, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, represent the first count of adolescent concussions in the U.S. The findings mirror those of a regional study of Canadian adolescents ... (more)

What hurricanes don't teach us: AP finds fast coastal growth
16 September 2017 - Rising sea levels and fierce storms have failed to stop relentless population growth along U.S. coasts in recent years, a new Associated Press analysis shows. The latest punishing hurricanes scored bull's-eyes on two of the country's fastest growing regions: coastal Texas around Houston and resort areas of southwest Florida. Nothing seems to curb America's appetite for life near the sea, especially in the warmer climates of the South. Coastal development destroys natural barriers such as islands and wetlands, promotes erosion and flooding, and positions more buildings and people in the path of future destruction, according to researchers and policy advisers who study hurricanes. (more)

Cost of fighting U.S. wildfires topped $2 billion in 2017
14 September 2017 - The costs of fighting U.S. wildfires topped $2 billion in 2017, breaking records and underscoring the need to address a U.S. Forest Service budget that mostly goes to fires, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Thursday, 14 September. Perdue said the funding formula used to earmark money for fire suppression is no longer adequate amid fire seasons that have grown longer and scorched larger swaths of public lands, mostly in the U.S. West. 'We are breaking records in terms of dollars spent, acres of national forest land burned and the increased duration of fires,' Forest Service Chief Tony Tooke said in a statement. (more)

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