The Smithsonian Institution

James Smithson, MA, FRS (c. 1765 – 27 June 1829) was an English chemist and mineralogist. He was the founding donor of the Smithsonian Institution.

Smithson was the illegitimate child of the 1st Duke of Northumberland, and was born secretly in Paris, on an unknown date, possibly in the Pentemont Abbey, as Jacques-Louis Macie (later altered to James Louis). Eventually, he was naturalized in England and attended university, studying chemistry and mineralogy at Pembroke College, Oxford. At the age of twenty-two, he changed his surname from Macie to Smithson, his father’s pre-marriage surname. Smithson traveled extensively throughout Europe publishing papers about his findings. Considered a talented amateur in his field, Smithson maintained an inheritance he acquired from his mother and other relatives.

Smithson was never married and had no children; therefore, when he wrote his will, he left his estate to his nephew, or his nephew’s family if his nephew died before Smithson. If his nephew was to die without heirs, however, Smithson’s will stipulated that his estate be used “to found in Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men.” In 1835, his nephew died and so could not claim to be the recipient of his estate; therefore, Smithson became the patron of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. despite having never visited the United States.

Smithson is credited with first using the word “silicates”.Smithson’s bank records at C. Hoare & Co show extensive and regular income derived from Apsley Pellatt (1763–1826), which suggests that Smithson had a strong financial or scientific relationship with the Blackfriars glass maker.

Apsley Pellatt, (1763 – Jan 21, 1826) was an English glass manufacturer.

Apsley Pellatt was the son of Apsley Pellatt (1736–1798) and Sarah (née Meriton) Pellatt. At St Andrews church, Holborn on Mar 20, 1788 he married Mary Maberly, daughter of prosperous manufacturer Stephen Maberly and sister of John Maberly. They had 15 children, of which Apsley Pellatt was the eldest son.

Pellatt is relate to Canadian financier Sir Henry Pellatt.

(Major-General Sir Henry Mill Pellatt, CVO (January 6, 1859 – March 8, 1939) was a Canadian financier and soldier.

He is notable for his role in bringing hydro-electricity to Toronto, Ontario, for the first time, and also for his large château in Toronto, called Casa Loma, which was the biggest private residence ever constructed in Canada. Casa Loma would eventually become a well-known landmark of the city. His summer home and farm in King City later became Marylake Augustinian Monastery.)

The Smithsonian Institution, established in 1846 “for the increase and diffusion of knowledge,” is a group of museums and research centers administered by the Government of the United States.

Originally organized as the “United States National Museum,” that name ceased to exist as an administrative entity in 1967.

The Institution’s nineteen museums, nine research centers, and zoo include historical and architectural landmarks, mostly located in the District of Columbia.

Additional facilities are located in Arizona, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York City, Virginia, Texas, and Panama. More than 200 institutions and museums in 45 states, Puerto Rico, and Panama are Smithsonian Affiliates.

The Institution’s thirty million annual visitors are admitted without charge. The institution’s annual budget is around $1.2 billion with 2/3 coming from annual federal appropriations. Other funding comes from the Institution’s endowment, private and corporate contributions, membership dues, and earned retail, concession, and licensing revenue.

The British scientist James Smithson (d. 1829) left most of his wealth to his nephew Henry James Hungerford. When Hungerford died childless in 1835, the estate passed “to the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an Establishment for the increase & diffusion of knowledge among men”, in accordance with Smithson’s will.

Congress officially accepted the legacy bequeathed to the nation, and pledged the faith of the United States to the charitable trust on July 1, 1836. The American diplomat Richard Rush was dispatched to England by President Andrew Jackson to collect the bequest. Rush returned in August 1838 with 105 sacks containing 104,960 gold sovereigns (about $500,000 at the time, which is equivalent to $11,245,000 in 2016).

Once the money was in hand, eight years of Congressional haggling ensued over how to interpret Smithson’s rather vague mandate “for the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Unfortunately, the money was invested by the US Treasury in bonds issued by the state of Arkansas which soon defaulted.

After heated debate, Massachusetts Representative (and ex-President) John Quincy Adams persuaded Congress to restore the lost funds with interest and, despite designs on the money for other purposes, convinced his colleagues to preserve it for an institution of science and learning.

Finally, on August 10, 1846, President James K. Polk signed the legislation that established the Smithsonian Institution as a trust instrumentality of the United States, to be administered by a Board of Regents and a Secretary of the Smithsonian

Nuclear Contamination in Canada

Historic waste consists of soil contaminated with uranium and radium, at sites located in the Northwest Territories, British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.

This waste was originally managed in a way that is no longer considered acceptable, but for which the current owner cannot be reasonably held responsible.

The government of Canada has accepted responsibility for the long-term management of this waste, which is currently managed by the Low-level Radioactive Waste Management Office (LLRWMO), run by Canadian Nuclear Laboratories Ltd.

Radioactive waste has been produced in Canada since the early 1930s, when the first radium and uranium mine began operating at Port Radium, Northwest Territories.

Pitchblende ore was transported from the Northwest Territories through the Northern Transportation Route to Port Hope, Ontario.

The ore was refined to produce radium for medical purposes. Later on, the uranium was destined for nuclear fuel and military applications.


The bulk of Canada’s historic waste is located in the Ontario communities of Port Hope and Clarington Ontario Canada.

This waste and contaminated soils amount to roughly 2 million cubic metres, and relate to the historic operations of a radium and uranium refinery in the municipality of Port Hope, dating back to the 1930s.

While the low-level radioactivity of naturally occurring radioactive materials do not pose a risk to human health and the environment, there is general consensus in the local community, as well as in professional and regulatory communities, that the management of the waste onsite does not represent a suitable long-term solution.

Historic low-level radioactive waste is present within the Ontario municipalities of Port Hope and Clarington. The waste, which is no longer produced, resulted from radium and uranium refining by a former federal Crown corporation (Eldorado Nuclear) and its private-sector predecessors from the 1930s to 1980s.

CNL’s Low Level Radioactive Waste Management Office (LLRWMO) currently supports the PHAI MO through its interim waste management program, and will continue to do so until waste management activities are completed. The LLRWMO currently operates the Pine Street Extension Temporary Storage Site, which is a low-level radioactive waste management facility licensed to receive historic radioactive waste from construction activities within the municipality. The waste at this site will eventually be transferred into the new Long-Term Waste Management Facility that is being constructed for the Port Hope Project.

From the early 1930s to the 1950s, uranium ore was transported over 2,200 km by the Northern Transportation Route (NTR) from Port Radium (on Great Bear Lake, Northwest Territories) to the railhead at Waterways (now Fort McMurray, Alberta).

In the 1990s, AECL’s Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management Office (LLRWMO) identified sites impacted by uranium ore along the NTR. The contamination was located primarily in docks and boat launches.

Radiological surveys conducted in 2004, 2005 and 2006 determined the volume of the waste to be approximately 10,000 cubic metres. Following these surveys the LLRWMO removed and consolidated most of the higher-density, uranium-impacted soil from the identified locations.

CNL’s LLRWMO is in charge of continuing to address the historic nuclear waste in Canada’s north.

Sealed containers of nuclear fuel waste await long-term disposal at Ontario Power Generation’s Western.

The $24-billion cost of a deep repository—to be paid by the producers (hence ultimately their customers) out of a fund that now stands at less than $3 billion—sounds like a lot for the existing quantity of nuclear-fuel waste in the country. NWMO spokesman Mike Krizanc visualizes Canada’s 48,000-tonne waste pile as “enough to cover six NHL-sized hockey rinks to the top of the boards.”

In 2002, Ottawa passed the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act, which obliged key Canadian atomic energy producers, such as Bruce Power and Ontario Power Generation, to create the Nuclear Waste Management Organization and develop a permanent waste disposal strategy.

The NWMO, founded that same year, takes pains to equate itself with openness, honesty and the public interest—ideals assertively declared on its website. But it is at heart an industry body, not a public one: Eight of the nine members of its board come straight from nuclear production companies.



Houses and Cats in Russian Tradition

For centuries Russians consider letting a cat into a new house before the humans move in as a sign of good luck.

They guarded Hermitage Museum and had their own servants and even after the October revolution they were looked after.

Few years ago the largest bank in Russia, Sberbank, was giving free cats to mortgage customers for good luck in their new homes.

According to Russian superstition, letting a cat walk through your new home before you move in brings good luck. “Order a cat for your housewarming, and bring happiness and luck to your home,” the state-controlled bank says on a special Cat Delivery Service website it set up to promote the campaign. Customers can choose among 10 breeds, including tabbies, Siamese, and an exotic hairless cat resembling a sphinx.

Russia’s largest bank is apparently loaning cats to clients who buy one of their mortgage products – as a sign of good luck.

In what has all the marks of a publicity stunt, Sberbank – one of Russia’s largest banks – says every new mortgage customer can choose the cat they want, and it will be delivered in time for their housewarming party.  The bank’s gives a choice of 10 breeds, and features a video showing the first happy clients receiving their cats. It’s an advertising campaign thought up by a local agency, and reportedly features delivery vans with cat logos cruising the streets of Moscow.

The bad news for customers is that they won’t be able to keep their feline. Terms of the offer say that the animal is only given so that it is the first to cross the threshold of the property – many Russians say a cat is sign of good luck to those moving into a new home – and is only available for two hours so the home-owners can take photos.

The cats are owned by individuals, including Sberbank employees, “who agreed to let their pets participate in special projects,” Anastasia Vakhlamova, a bank spokeswoman, told Bloomberg Businessweek. The bank started receiving requests for loaner cats “immediately after the launch of the special project” in mid-August 2014.

Cats were always a part of  life, because back in a day people of Russia mostly lived in villages, and every house had a cat simply as anti-mouse remedy.

The only real “cat tradition” is letting it into a new house before the humans move in, and there are about 4 versions of how that tradition came to us.

The most common belief is that cat is a spiritual animal, and it can feel good and bad energy, so, for example, the spot in a new house where cat decided to lie down for the first time needs to be a spot for a bed, and places the cat didn’t like should be avoided.

And a black cat crossing person’s pass is still considered a sign of bad luck in Russia as well as many other countries.

Coricancea City of Gold Peru

Built in the shadows of the Andes, Cusco’s golden temple was the centerpiece of an empire that revolutionized city planning in South America

Coricancha – the temple of the sun – which they built as the crown jewel of their capital city of Cusco, and the centerpiece of an empire that revolutionized city planning in South America.

When Pachacútec assumed the Incan throne in 1438, he began to reform the city of Cusco by restructuring the street grid, which remains to this day. The city is said to be designed in the shape of a puma, with Coricancha located in the animal’s tail, and considered the holiest site in Incan mythology.

The location of Coricancha within the city was very important. Placed at the convergence of the four main highways and connected to the four districts of the empire, the temple cemented the symbolic importance of religion, uniting the divergent cultural practices that were observed in the vast territory controlled by the Incas.

The temple complex consisted of four main chambers, each dedicated to a different deity of the moon, stars, thunder and rainbows. Much of Coricancha was filled with gold, with one chamber containing a giant sun disc, reflecting sunlight that illuminated the rest of the temple. The disc was aligned so that during the summer solstice it illuminated a sacred space where only the emperor himself was allowed to sit.

During Pachacútec’s reign he made massive conquests, and the Incan empire went on to control an area that, under his successor, would extend from modern-day Colombia to Santiago, Chile. The effective organisation of Cusco no doubt played a large part in this success.


But the glory of the empire was short lived. Disputes over who was to become the next Inca, as well as a devastating smallpox epidemic brought on by European explorers in the 1530s threw the empire into chaos. When Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro arrived he took advantage of the mayhem, and captured the emperor Atahualpa, despite being vastly outnumbered. To pay the ransom demanded by the Spanish for his the release, much of the gold from Coricancha was stripped, and despite the payment, Atahualpa was killed.

After taking Cusco, the Spanish demolished most of Coricancha, melting down its gold plating and sculptures to be sent back to Spain. They then built a cathedral on the site, though they maintained its stone foundations. But ultimately, it was the Incans who had the last laugh, at least at Coricancha. Centuries later, an earthquake completely destroyed the Spanish-made cathedral but left the foundations of the temple intact.

Today, Coricancha may finally be getting the recognition it deserves. Though modern Cusco has expanded enough so that the original puma design is nearly impossible to make out, Coricancha still has an important place in the city and it pulls in many visitors.

Climate Restoration Principles

  • Proliferate actions by sowing seeds that acknowledge and respect a sense of place
  • Plant forests The land should be 75% forests food forests and the rest should be used for other human activities
  • Each family should own minimum 5 acres of land 4 acres should be forested using permaculture principles.
  • Use resources intelligently
  • Turn waste into components and nutrients and cycle them
  • Encourage and support diversity. Design for resilience
  • Seek to observe and understand nature as a rich source of circular, restorative and regenerative insights and wisdom, and model them in all human-scale systems
  • Do not harm nature in any way and form
  • Use renewable energy
  • Reuse seeds
  • Plant plants that belong to the land
  • The forests should be restored food forests if possible diverse forests not uni plant plantations.
  • Take care of the nature of the wild life.
  • Controlling wild life population should be a thing of the past Governments and organizations should protect wild life population not control or kill them. They have a right to live as we do.



Black Swan Theory

The black swan theory or theory of black swan events is a metaphor that describes an event that comes as a surprise, has a major effect, and is often inappropriately rationalized after the fact with the benefit of hindsight. The term is based on an ancient saying which presumed black swans did not exist, but the saying was rewritten after black swans were discovered in the wild.

Identifying a black swan event

  1. The event is a surprise (to the observer).
  2. The event has a major effect.
  3. After the first recorded instance of the event, it is rationalized by hindsight, as if it could have been expected; that is, the relevant data were available but unaccounted for in risk mitigation programs. The same is true for the personal perception by individuals.

Black swan events were discussed by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his 2001 book Fooled By Randomness, which concerned financial events. His 2007 book The Black Swan extended the metaphor to events outside of financial markets. Taleb regards almost all major scientific discoveries, historical events, and artistic accomplishments as “black swans”—un-directed and un-predicted. He gives the rise of the Internet, the personal computer, World War I, dissolution of the Soviet Union, and the September 2001 attacks as examples of black swan events


The Herbicide Roundup and Allergic or Digestive Issues to Wheat

The use of Roundup as a wheat desiccant results in glyphosate residues regularly showing up in bread samples.

Authored by Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff of MIT, the paper investigates glyphosate’s inhibition of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, an overlooked component of lethal toxicity to mammals.

The currently accepted view is that ghyphosate is not harmful to humans or any mammals.  This flawed view is so pervasive in the conventional farming community that Roundup salesmen have been known to foolishly drink it during presentations!

Pre-harvest application of the herbicide Roundup or other herbicides containing the deadly active ingredient glyphosate to wheat and barley as a desiccant was suggested as early as 1980.  It has since become routine over the past 15 years and is used as a drying agent 7-10 days before harvest within the conventional farming community.

desiccating non-organic wheat crops with glyphosate just before harvest came into vogue late in the 1990′s with the result that most of the non-organic wheat in the United States is now contaminated with it.  Seneff explains that when you expose wheat to a toxic chemical like glyphosate, it actually releases more seeds resulting in a slightly greater yield:   “It ‘goes to seed’ as it dies. At its last gasp, it releases the seed

According to the US Department of Agriculture, as of 2012, 99% of durum wheat, 97% of spring wheat, and 61% of winter wheat has been treated with herbicides. This is an increase from 88% for durum wheat, 91% for spring wheat and 47% for winter wheat since 1998. 

Roundup is licensed for pre harvest weed control. Monsanto, the manufacturer of Roundup claims that application to plants at over 30% kernel moisture result in roundup uptake by the plant into the kernels. Farmers like this practice because Roundup kills the wheat plant allowing an earlier harvest.

A wheat field often ripens unevenly, thus applying Roundup preharvest evens up the greener parts of the field with the more mature. The result is on the less mature areas Roundup is translocated into the kernels and eventually harvested as such.

This practice is not licensed. Farmers mistakenly call it “dessication.” Consumers eating products made from wheat flour are undoubtedly consuming minute amounts of Roundup. An interesting aside, malt barley which is made into beer is not acceptable in the marketplace if it has been sprayed with preharvest Roundup. Lentils and peas are not accepted in the market place if it was sprayed with preharvest roundup….. but wheat is ok..

Other European countries are waking up to to the danger, however. In the Netherlands, use of Roundup is completely banned with France likely soon to follow. 

Using Roundup as a dessicant on the wheat fields prior to harvest may save the farmer money and increase profits, but it is devastating to the health of the consumer who ultimately consumes those ground up wheat kernels which have absorbed a significant amount of Roundup! 

Roundup significantly disrupts the functioning of beneficial bacteria in the gut and contributes to permeability of the intestinal wall and consequent expression of autoimmune disease symptoms.

As a result, humans exposed to glyphosate through use of Roundup in their community or through ingestion of its residues on industrialized food products become even more vulnerable to the damaging effects of other chemicals and environmental toxins they encounter!


What’s worse is that the negative impact of glyphosate exposure is slow and insidious over months and years as inflammation gradually gains a foothold in the cellular systems of the body.

The consequences of this systemic inflammation are most of the diseases and conditions associated with the Western lifestyle:

-Gastrointestinal disorders



-Heart Disease





-Multiple Sclerosis

-Alzheimer’s disease

How to Eat Wheat Safely

Obviously, if you’ve already developed a sensitivity or allergy to wheat, you must avoid it.  Period.

But, if you aren’t celiac or gluten sensitive and would like to consume this ancestral food safely, you can do what we do in our home.