Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 125

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 125

…Since returning to from their trans-global Beelzebub ball-busting, Constance must indoctrinate Ace in the ways of The Libby Affair…

Since returning to from their trans-global Beelzebub ball-busting, Constance must indoctrinate Ace in the ways of The Libby Affair. This means he must be taken on an introductory tour, beginning with the subject and the subject’s subject, i.e. Willard and his carbon-14, “Carbon dating doesn’t mean a Brazilian beauty named Gabriela Carbõn  doing the samba at Carnival.”

Willard Libby is both grateful and gracious in Constance’s presence and he gladly does a breakdown of his research for the newcomer. But first, “Why is your hair as white as a Chicago blizzard, Mr. Ace?”

“My bell was rung while playing rugby in Australia; been white ever since.” Simple enough

Forever Mastadon 2-001Back to the old science-aroo, he covers things that Constance could only skim through in the course of their recent travels. He lays out the cold hard facts concerning the real age of mankind and its connection to carbon dating.

“Originally, I found evidence that science could not accurately formulate the age of the universe, or even the planet; which is true but we have had to modify that, because of certain Creation facts. Currently, I am prepared to put the earliest existence of life on Earth at 20,000 B.C.”

“That’s not what I’ve been taught,” comments Ace.

“No it is not, but every day, all around the world, in 10,000 languages children are reading that mans’ ancestors began emerging a million years ago. That is hogwash.”

“Well I am not going to argue the point. All I know is what’s happened in my 30-some years,” Ace puts his arm around Constance, “too many good people support you.”

Libby, for example, grabs Martin Kamen by the shoulder, “Like this guy!” The time they have spent in sequestered isolation has created an unbreakable bond between them. If it had not been for Martin’s proactive pursuit of independent investigation, Willard Libby may well have withered into hopeless obscurity.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 110

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 102

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 102

…In this case, Willard Libby had died from complications of hypothermia; so sad, so false…

“Are you absolutely positive that carbon-14, in any biological form, cannot be successfully folded into the current half-life equation?”

“I have taken this right out to the before the first Ice Age and there is an absolute wall at 20K,” Willard Libby is taken to task by Martin Kamen in a final review of his game changing findings. “If life on this planet does not predate 20000 BC, then how can we accurately attach an age to Earth?”

“It sat around empty for a few billion years and then life suddenly appeared,” Martin was joking.

“Good point! In the Creation scenario, God could have done up the Universe a bit early, all the while perfecting the human form… and all the animals, etc, etc. All I know for certain is that this radioisotope does not extend past 20, not even those damned Brontosaurus.”

The pair of research scientists is still in hiding at an undisclosed location in the bowels of the University of Chicago. They are hatching a scheme where Willard Libby can safely release his findings to the world. They begin by purchasing the very first tape recorder commercially available. Of course the Japanese copy/manufacture what the Americans invent. Though it weighs 40 pounds and was hard to sneak in, Libby starts recording audio to accompany his charts and graphs.

The biggest drawback to the plan is that Willard Libby has been declared dead, deceased, checked out, met his maker, bit the dust, crashed and burned, gonzo. The once secret “death” at Elgin State Hospital has fallen victim to an innocent clerical mistake. Someone unknowingly releases Libby’s death notice, along with the other recently departed hospital patients.

Elgin has been under tight scrutiny ever since a scandal rocked the mental health facility. They had suppressed deaths due to the questionable reasons for casualties, yes casualties resulting from the use of untested drugs treatments and what would normally labeled as medieval torture devices.

In this case, Willard Libby had died from complications of hypothermia; so sad, so false.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 92

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 83

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 83

…In the den of the Devil…

“I want you to extricate the human Mary Joseph Franks from her lair. I believe that she is under the protection of the Divine One, which is a formidable obstacle. And as she has already made Canisso’s acquaintance, I need some other human for the intervention.”

Agent Daniels does his best rope-a-dope. “Tell me where she is and I will have her here in two days.”

“No need, get her out of that convent-monastery-whatever and I will do the rest. Canisso will be assisting you.”

“I prefer to work alone.”

“Canisso will take you there.”

He can tell that his loyalty is being tested. ‘This is hardcore stuff,’ he thinks to himself. “I will do so.”

“Yes you will and your ascension inside World Agnostica is on the line.”

As if Daniels doesn’t have enough jobs as it is, now he is being pressured into an unthinkable act against an undeserving victim.

… Meanwhile in the Heavenlies…

“One of my faithful servants is in dire need of an intercession, Gabriel.”

The Angel Gabriel is the Divine One’s go-to seraphim in matters of greatest consequence. He hears his Lord’s petition and responds, “I am here Lord.”

“My daughter Mary Joseph is a target of the Evil one. Provide her the protection she needs.”

“It will be done,” Gabriel responds now filled with the earthly details.

… Back in the Chicago-lies…

Twenty miles north of Sister Mary Joseph, Constance and Fanny are helping Martin with getting Willard Libby back into working order. There are more than a few frayed circuit wires and burned out vacuum tubes about his jumbled head. As work canAgeOfEarth be the best therapy, so does Libby guide Martin through the cherished details of his, still to be revealed to the world, discovery that the actual age of Planet Earth is in the geophysical neighborhood of twenty thousand years, not the 4.5 to 5 billion year range that is broadly accepted.


Constance Caraway P.I.

DIVINE INTERVENTION

Forever Mastadon


page 76

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 73

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 73

Chapter Seven

 AUTHORSHIP

Nearly every literary work has a creator, the one individual who is responsible for it, an ascribed acknowledged credit. Most of us, writer or reader, have an erudite bent, an area of interest that we are attracted to for whatever reason, be it passion or curiosity.

Authorship can be applied to:

  • A book
  • A philosophy
  • An idea

 

If you copy text from a book and claim it as your own without acknowledging the author, it is called plagiarism.

Now you can be defiant and assign authorship to nothing or no one, but by merely claiming so does not make it so.

So, if this wonderful world on which we live was created for our pleasure, would it not be wise to at least give credit where credit is due?

The University of Chicago serves as a magnet for a wide variety of academic pursuits. Its centralized location in North America makes it the perfect place for like-minded individuals to congregate.

As an example, when it came to developing a war-busting-atomic-bomb, Chicago became to logical choice to do so; not so good for testing it safely, but a swell place for a think tank to flourish.

Willard Libby was not on The Pile Team at Argonne National Lab, but he did play a role in taking it to completion with the greater Manhattan Project. It allowed him to establish a platform from which he could work on other things, like radiocarbon dating.

His office in a remote wing of the Humanities Building at U-Chicago is well “lived in”, a home away from home if you will. If you want to steal something of value from his home in Olympia Fields, you might net yourself a color television or a short-wave radio. However, if you want to make off with something of value from his office home, you would need to find it first. He called it ‘the best kept secret’ around and is proud of it.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 69

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 60

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 60

…the Pope was not going to be upstaged by a charismatic preacher from the Bible belt of the United States…

Pope Pius the Twelve has willfully isolated himself in the bowels of Vatican City, Rome, Italy. The inherent claim of having a direct ongoing conversation (pipeline to) with God has lead him to believe that he is in danger of being overtaken by the Devil, he has that clear and present sense that his office, as well as the Church he leads, is under attack. The suspicious death of Ernesto Pacelli, his one and only blood brother, has added unwanted fuel to the spiritual fire. His trust in God is strong, but keeping a wary eye out is prudent, just in case.

Born Eugenio Pacelli (Pope’s brother), the Pope has taken a hands-on approach to leading the Church. Societies around the globe are suffering from religious malaise, an apathetic position kinbrought on by peace and prosperity. Even among his normal blindly obedient flock there has been a slow bleed, not a sufficient amount to cause the body (of Christ) to fail, but enough to weaken the spirit (Holy).

He had sent his own kin over to the Tolentine Summit to be his advocate in matters concerning the assault on creation and God’s role in it. It isn’t often that religion gets a seat at the scientific table and he was not going to be upstaged by a charismatic preacher from the Bible belt of the United States (Billy Graham). Within those borders resides the most prosperous Roman Catholic population, by country, in the world.

Ernesto reported back that the Holy Father’s opinion on both the cumulative age of the planet and its relation to Creation was heard loud and clear. All the saints and martyrs, who died for the cause of Jesus Christ, were honored by that official stance, backed by the prayers and beliefs of a billion souls across the globe.

Like a politician building a strong coalition, Willard Libby came to Tolentine to fully understand how the theories he is prepared to take to the world stage, mesh with religious leaders; that growingly unpopular philosophy of intelligent design (creation vs evolution). He came away with proper perception and newfound clarity which jive with his newly postulated science.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 57

Hope 4 Humanity – WIF Inventions

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Inventions That

Will Give You

Hope for Humanity

Some days, it can seem that the best minds on earth are all preoccupied with projects like developing robot soldierslaunching crypto-currencies, and designing slot machines. While those activities may (arguably) have some societal value, it’s hard to see their primary mission as unambiguously beneficial. But don’t lose all faith in humanity. Below are 10 examples of inventions that may not make a ton of money and may not make their creators famous, but do make the world a better place…

10. Prosthetic dolphin tail

Winter the dolphin did not have an easy start in life. At 3-months-old, she was found by a fisherman tangled in a crab trap line. Winter, named after the season in which she was found, was cut from the line by the fisherman, who then called in a rescue crew. Despite the best efforts of the marine hospital where she was taken, the line had cut off circulation to her tail fluke and it was lost, along with two vertebrae. Normally, this is a fatal injury for a dolphin, but, in her new aquarium home, Winter learned to swim using a shark-like side-to-side motion (instead of the usual up-and-down motion dolphins usually employ with their tails) and using her flippers for momentum. While this provided a temporary solution, the unnatural motion posed a long-term risk of scoliosis and Winter’s health was worsening.

Enter Kevin Carroll and Dan Strzempka, two prostheses with Hanger Orthopedic Group. Carroll heard Winter’s story on the radio, and convinced his colleague Strzempka, who also happened to be an amputee, that they could help. Carroll and Strzempka quickly volunteered to try to craft a prosthetic tail for Winter. While aquarium staff initially thought Carroll’s call was a prank, they quickly agreed to let the men, who offered their work pro-bono, work with a team of trainers and vets to try to find a solution. After several iterations, the team developed a viable prosthetic tail for Winter, as well as a gel that provides cushioning for the prosthesis. Not only was Winter able to swim normally again, her story, which spawned the movie Dolphin Taleprovided inspiration for people all over the world, including children with disabilities and wounded soldiers. Additionally, the gel that Carroll and Strzempka developed has also helped human amputees manage their prostheses.

9. An anti-tremor spoon

While working on his doctorate, engineer Anupam Pathak worked with the Army Research Lab, looking for ways to stabilize rifles for soldiers in combat. Pathak succeeded in identifying ways to make the hardware for motion cancellation very small and realized his innovation had the potential to help another group of people needing steady hands—those with Essential Tremor or Parkinson’s Disease.

One of the most salient impacts of those diseases comes when patients eat. Often, hand and arm tremors make it impossible for those experiencing them to feed themselves. However, Pathak worked to refine and commercialize his technology to make a spoon that would cancel out the tremors, giving patients back their autonomy over one of their daily functions. Using Pathak’s motion cancellation technology, the Liftware Steady spoon cancels out more than 70% of shaking, allowing many of those with hand tremors to feed themselves. The company was acquired by Google and has since reduced the price of its products, and introduced a second product—the Liftware Level, a spoon which assists those with limited hand and arm mobility by keeping the utensil level, even when the hand moves unpredictably. One user with Essential Tremor explained the impact of this device on her life, noting that the Liftware spoon made eating less embarrassing and gave her more confidence, making eating enjoyable again.

8. Railway tunnels for turtles

What happens when Japan’s high-speed trains meet its low speed turtles? In the past, it hasn’t been pretty for either party. Near Kobe, Japan (which is on the coast), turtles trying to cross the tracks sometimes fell in the space between them and couldn’t get up. They’d walk between the tracks until being run over by a passing train or until they got to a junction, at which point they’d get squished during signal switches. This wasn’t just a problem for the turtles, but also for the train and its passengers, with turtle-related incidents causing 13 service disruptions between 2002 and 2013.

To combat the turtle vs. train problem, West Japan Railway Co. partnered with the Suma Aqualife Park to find a solution. They came up with “turtle tunnels,” concrete ditches that pass under the tracks near switch points. If staff find any turtles in the tunnels during their track checks, they rescue them and send them to the aquarium. A train company spokesman noted that, “The system prevents turtles from getting into accidents and avoids causing trouble for our passengers. We hope to continue using it.”

7. Biodegradable 6-pack rings

Plastic packaging poses a threat to wildlife on land and in the sea. The Pacific Ocean has a “garbage patch” made up of almost 80,000 tons of discarded plastic, covering an area three times the size of France, posing a threat to the sea life it encounters, who can be entangled and killed in the floating trash pile. While plastic 6-pack rings (that hold cans of soda or beer) make up a tiny fraction of the discarded plastic, consumers have long been warned to cut them up before discarding them, because they can injure or kill animals that become trapped in them.

However, one company, E6PR, has come up with an even better way to ensure that animals don’t become victims. It has created an eco-friendly 6-pack ring, made from by-product waste (wheat and barley) and designed to be compostable. Even if it doesn’t end up in a compost facility, it will break down in weeks and, unlike plastic, won’t hurt animals if they happen to ingest it. The product had its commercial debut in early 2018 on cans of beer from Florida’s Saltwater Brewery. As of mid-2018, the company is working to refine the product and ramp up production to be able to supply the 6-pack to all the beverage manufacturers who want to offer it. That’s a development animals all over the world should want to toast.

6. PARO the robot seal

PARO, an interactive robot that resembles a baby seal, may be best known for its appearance on Aziz Ansari’s sitcom, Master of None. However, PARO, which was designed in Japan, does most of its work in nursing homes and hospitals—helping provide patients with the benefits of animal therapy. Like a trained therapy animal, PARO responds to users’ voice and movements with its own motions and vocalizations. However, unlike real animals, PARO doesn’t need food, breaks, or clean-up, doesn’t play favorites amongst patients, won’t trigger allergies and can be used with patients whose unpredictable behavior might pose a risk to a therapy animal.

In a study of nursing home residents, those who interacted with PARO for an hour twice a week over 12 weeks, showed significant declines in loneliness over the period of the study. For those who worry about the dehumanizing effect robotic therapy animals might have, research suggests that in addition to engaging with PARO, residents who did so were more social with other residents and staff. Another study of dementia patients found that sessions with PARO lessened anxiety, increased social interaction, and helped lethargic patients remain alert.

5. Pugedon recycling receptacle

The Pugedon recycling receptacle aims to address two problems at once—promoting recycling and feeding stray cats and dogs. The machine, which is about the size of a refrigerator, is placed on the street and powered by a solar cell. When someone throws in a recyclable bottle, the machine dispenses food for hungry strays. If users want to empty their water bottles before disposing of them, the machine also funnels that leftover water to a bowl that the strays can access. The profits garnered from the sale of the recyclables pay for the kibble dispensed by the unit. The machine was introduced in Istanbul, Turkey, which is home to more than 150,000 stray cats and dogs. Engin Gargin, the machine’s inventor, said he was inspired by the idea of giving residents a cost-free way to help strays, while improving Turkey’s recycling rates.

One of the concerns with the units was that they would attract hordes of hungry dogs, but according to one article, that has not transpired. In India, the machines were planned with a slightly different user in mind.  Pugedon units have been placed near areas where pet owners walk their dogs, in the hopes that the prospect of a free dinner for their canine companion may encourage residents to recycle.

4. The Upsee harness

Debby Elnatan, an Israeli mother of a son with cerebral palsy, was determined to see her son walk, despite doctors that counseled her that her 2-year-old, “didn’t know what his legs are and has no consciousness of them.” Elnatan worked with her son to build his walking skills, an arduous task. Elnatan says the idea of the Upsee, a harness that attaches a child to an adult, allowing the child to stand upright and to take steps with the support and motion of the adult, came from the “pain and desperation” she experienced while trying to find a way to help her son walk.

A group of 20 families with mobility-challenged children tested an early version of the product, and shared favorable results: the children enjoyed using the harness and the Upsee enabled families to undertake more activities together. The Upsee was put into mass production by Irish company Leckey, and is now improving the lives of children with mobility challenges around the world.

3. Embrace infant warmers

Complications from preterm births are responsible for approximately 1 million infant deaths a year. A major contributing factor to these deaths is the hypothermia many premature babies experience, as they lack the body fat needed to regulate their temperatures. In wealthier settings, where preemies can be placed in incubators in hospitals, they have much better outcomes than those preemies who are born in resource-poor settings, where hospitals may be distant, electricity may be intermittent, and incubators that can cost up to $20,000 just aren’t affordable.

Addressing this gap in care was the challenge faced by Jane Chen, Rahul Panicker, Linus Liang, and later, Naganand Murty, who first received the project in a Stanford class called “Design for Extreme Affordability.” Using design thinking and rapid prototyping the team developed the Embrace Infant Warmer, a sleeping-bag type warmer that relies on paraffin pouches for heat and costs hundreds of dollars, instead of thousands. The product has since helped more than 300,000 babies worldwide. In order to ensure the product’s sustainability, the company introduced a for-profit sleep sack, the sales of which support charitable distribution of the Embrace Warmers throughout the developing world.

2. Lifestraw water filter

The Lifestraw story begins with Guinea worm, a tropical parasite that incapacitates those who consume its larvae by drinking unclean water. In 1986, Guinea worm disease afflicted more than 3.5 million people in Africa and Asia. By 2017, the disease was nearly eradicated, with only about 30 reported cases. One of the factors driving down the incidence of the disease was a filter developed by Vestergaard, a Swiss-based company, which removes Guinea worm larvae from drinking water.

After its success with the Guinea worm filter, Vestergaard turned its attention to dealing with other water contaminants. In 2005, it introduced the LifeStraw, a personal straw-like filter, designed for use in emergency situations and in the developing world, where clean drinking water may not be easily accessible. Today, the company offers a range of products based around this idea, from water bottles for hikers to larger community-level water purification systems. For each product purchased, the company commits to providing clean water (via school-based systems) to a child in the developing world for a year. LifeStraw’s philanthropic efforts have provided clean water to more than 1 million children in the developing world.

1. Be My Eyes App

The idea for this app, which helps people who are visually impaired by crowdsourcing volunteer assistance with short, simple tasks, came from founder Hans Wiberg’s own experiences as a visually impaired individual. Wiberg’s blind friends shared that they often relied on FaceTime or other video phone apps to ask for help from family and friends for help with everyday problems like reading the expiration date on a milk carton or the departure board at a train station, though many of them worried that they were burdening their loved ones with a plethora of micro-tasks.

Wiberg saw an opportunity to connect the visually impaired with a network of volunteers who could help with things like identifying the contents of cans, or reading the amount of an electric bill. After pitching his idea at 2012’s Startup Weekend in Aarhus, Denmark, Wiberg quickly connected with a team that helped turn the idea into a reality, and the free mobile app was launched for iOS in 2015 and Android in 2017. Since the app’s launch, more than 80,000 blind and visually impaired individuals have been helped by more than 1.3 million sighted volunteers. There are so many volunteers that they have to be quick to the draw to be able to help; as of late 2017, the app’s response time averaged 20 seconds, meaning that most users were able to get help almost as soon as they needed it.


Hope 4 Humanity –

WIF Inventions

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 50

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 50

…Martin Kamen puts forth some remarkable correlations between science and Earth’s placement in the Solar System…

On the way out to Elgin, a sixty mile drive not including one or two wrong turns by the pavement pilot of their Packard, Constance picks Martin’s brain about all things astronomical, as it applies or doesn’t to creation. This whole divine creation thing has jump-started her curiosity gene.

Being a biochemist by trade does not disqualify Martin from entering into solar system-ly speculation. Point in fact; the absence of his carbon-based colleague has left a void of such scholarly conjecture.

After some guarded thought, away from Eddie’s ramblings about his cousins’ mundane exploits or Fanny’s incessant worries about where they should or should they should have turned at the last intersection, Kamen puts forth some remarkable correlations between science and the unlikely randomness of Earth’s placement herein the place we call the Solar System. “Like many scientists, I would normally conclude that Earth’s deployment is just a convenient coincidence, as opposed to intentional.

“There are three critical factors that contribute mightily to the fragile factors that have allowed for the existence of life as we know it:

  1. Earth’s distance from the sun
  2. Earth’s degree of axis tilt
  3. Earth’s moon

“For example, if Earth is 10,000 miles farther from the sun, the climate would not be conducive to the development of intelligent life; it would be intolerably cold. If it is placed that same distance closer than it is currently, only the hardiest of desert creatures would have had the chance to thrive. 30˚ oceans are a tough swim for sea creatures, in the same way 100˚ water will evaporate faster than it can be replenished.

“Secondly, if Earth rotated at a zero degree tilt on its axis, the four seasons we have come to treasure would cease, thereby creating distinct latitudinal zones, ranging from an attractive equator climes, to incrementally less desirable 100 mile regions all the way to the poles.  The mediating ocean currents would be nonexistent and prevailing winds would never waiver north to south.”

Constance never considered herself the scholarly type, rather taking advantage of her cheerleader body and accordingly matching looks, one of the reasons her and Fanny “work”, with her friend possessing a combination of disguised intelligence and child-like innocence.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 47