Tuesday, April 25, 2017

3 Ancient Texts That Completely SHATTER History As We Know It

This is important work.  My own efforts has pieced together a 45,000 year window for modern humanity.  This includes the deliberate shift of the Earth's crust around 12,900 BP in order to finally end the Northern Ice Age.

When the earth had settled down, the Earth was then deliberately populated with what i call agricultural man. This meant establishing starter colonies of which I estimate at least a dozen at the minimum but could be much larger.

Yet what took place long before all that?  Here we have indications from cultural sources as well that need careful reading.

There are three titles.


3 Ancient Texts That Completely SHATTER History As We Know It

by Ivan; EWAO


There are numerous ‘controversial’ ancient texts that have been found throughout the years around the globe. Most of them are firmly rejected by mainstream scholars since they oppose nearly everything set forth by mainstream historians.

Some of these ancient texts are said to shatter mainstream beliefs and dogmas that have been considered as firm foundations of modern-day society.

In this article, we take a look at three ancient manuscripts/texts that are extraordinary in every aspect and can shatter mainstream history as we know it.

The 3,600-year-old Kolbrin Bible

It is considered by many as the first Judaic/Christian document which spells out understanding of human evolution, creationism, and intelligent design. The mathematical principles of the Kolbrin reflect the interest of the ancient Druids in astronomy and mathematics and speak of global cataclysms of the past.

It is an ancient text that according to many scholars dates back at last 3,600 years, but could be much older. Scholars believe this ancient manuscript was written at the same time as the Old Testament was being composed.

The Kolbrin Bible was written by several authors. This ancient text is made of two parts which make up a total of 11 ancient books.

Curiously, this ancient texts is believed to describe the story of human creation and mentions –most importantly— the existence ef several ancient civilizations that existed on Earth prior to the creation of Adam and Even.

Some have even categorized the Kolbrin Bible as the first antediluvian ‘Bible.’ The ancient text describes –among other things— the Fallen Angels.

The Book of Enoch

Ever since it was discovered, the Book of Enoch has been considered one of the most controversial ancient texts discovered on the planet. The Book of Enoch is an ancient Jewish religious manuscript which is traced back to Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah. The Book of Enoch is considered by many scholars one of the most influential non-canonical apocryphal writings. It is believed to have greatly influenced Christian beliefs.

This ancient text describes (the first part) the demise of the Watchers, the angels who fathered the Nephilim.

The book consists of five quite distinct major sections (see each section for details):
  • The Astronomical Book(1 Enoch 72–82) (also called the Book of the Heavenly Luminaries or Book of Luminaries)
The Book of Giants

This ancient text believed to date back over 2000 years proves –according to many authors— that the ancient Nephilim were real beings and described how they were destroyed.

It was discovered several decades ago at the Qumran Caves where researchers came across the Dead Sea Scrolls. Specifically, the Book of Giants speaks about creatures that inhabited our planet in the distant past and how they were destroyed.

The Book of Giants –which by the way is incomplete—offers a different perspective about the Nephilim.

According to the ancient text, the Giants —The Nephilim—became aware that due to their violent ways, they face an imminent destruction. They asked Enoch to speak on their behalf to God.

The ancient texts detail how the Nephilim lived on Earth and created chaos and destruction.

Ford puts babies to sleep with car-simulating cradle

The pulsating lights simulate the passing streetlights

T urns out that most fathers have been out driving in the middle of the night in order to get the baby to sleep.  This must have been going on for decades.  I certainly did and my son gets to do it now.

Ford has woken up after sleeping on it for a century or so and has now given us this. Great move that will be wonderfully welcome.

It obviously replaces the labor intensive crib.

Ford puts babies to sleep with car-simulating cradle

The pulsating lights simulate the passing streetlights
It's a phenomenon that many parents know well. The infant who just won't go to sleep at night, in a warm, cozy haven of slumber, will nod off in the car as if the subject of a master hypnotist. It doesn't matter that the engine's rumbling, bumps and potholes rattling the chassis, horns blaring outside ... baby's fast asleep. This fact can sometimes motivate desperate 3 a.m. car laps around the block, but Ford has a better idea: a baby bed that mimics the feeling, sound and light of riding in a car.

In a nice little piece of advertising that highlights one timeless bond between car and family, Ford and partners have developed what they call the Max Motor Dreams cot. If it works as designed, many new parents might call it "godsend." 

Ford isn't the first company to think of turning the sleep-inducing car ride into an actual baby product. Fisher Price had a similar idea with its Cruisin' Motion Soother, and there has also been at least one device built to secure to a crib and provide car ride-like vibrations. Ford's design is a more complete system, though, and even includes an app. 

The app ensures that baby's experience remains uniform from family car to cradle. Parents record the sound and movement of the actual family car. With this data, the Max Motor Dreams recreates the specific motion and sound, instead of just a generic sound/vibration pattern. 

The mattress rocks gently to simulate the subtle, soothing movement of the car ride, while a built-in audio system plays a restrained engine soundtrack to add the right background noise. Soft lighting flows around the sides and ends, imitating the gentle glow of streetlights outside the car window.
"While a quick drive in the family car can work wonders in getting baby off to sleep, the poor old parents still have to be awake and alert at the wheel," says Alejandro López Bravo, a designer at Espada y Santa Cruz, the Spanish creative studio that designed the Max Motor Dreams. "The Max Motor Dreams could make the everyday lives of a lot of people a little bit better."

The Max Motor Dreams was designed to serve as part of a Ford of Spain ad campaign. Ford says that while the design was developed as a one-off pilot, it's considering pursuing production based on the number of inquiries it's received.

Scientists convert spinach leaves into human heart tissue — that beats

Well yes.  Why try to make artificial circulatory systems when you have perfectly good plant material to work with?  Even beter, it is possible to shape things in three dimensions as well.  You are not limited to a fragile leaf.

This could easily jump start partial organ transplants.

It is a great start and well worth follow up.  I would like to see work on more robust plant material as well although natural cellulose replacement may be possible.


Scientists convert spinach leaves into human heart tissue — that beats

Ben Guarino, The Washington Post, Washington Post

Monday, Mar. 27, 2017


If an overhyped vegetable existed before marketers coined the term superfood – and long before Oprah Winfrey chatted up acai berries with Dr. Oz – look no further than spinach. 

Popeye to the contrary, spinach alone won’t pump anyone up. But it does have a few physical properties of the type that excite biomedical engineers. Spinach grows a network of veins, for instance, that thread through its leaves in a way similar to blood vessels through a human heart. 

These leafy veins allowed researchers at Massachusetts’s Worcester Polytechnic Institute to give a new meaning to heart-healthy spinach. The tissue engineers, as they reported recently in the journal Biomaterials, stripped green spinach leaves of their cells. The spinach turned translucent. The scientists seeded the gaps that the plant cells left behind with human heart tissue. Heart cells, in clusters, beat for up to three weeks in this unusual environment. 

The inspiration for the human-plant fusion came over lunch – and, yes, the leafy greens were involved – when WPI bioengineers Glenn Gaudette and Joshua Gershlak began to brainstorm new ways to tackle a deadly medical problem: the lack of donor organs. Of the more than 100,000 people on the donor list, nearly two dozen people die each day while waiting for an organ transplant. 

To meet the demand, scientists have tried to create artificial organs through innovations such as 3D-printing tissue. So far, however, no one has been able to print a perfect heart. 

“One of the big problems in engineering heart muscle is getting blood flow to all of the cells,” Gaudette, a professor of biomedical engineering at WPI, told The Washington Post. “Heart muscle is pretty thick.” Current technology cannot construct tissue dense enough to replace a damaged heart while also allowing for the tiny blood vessels needed to deliver life-giving oxygen. 

Rather than creating minuscule blood vessels, the scientists decided to borrow from what nature already evolved. First, they removed the cells from spinach leaves purchased at a local market. “We use detergent – soaps – which strips away the cellular material of tissues,” said Gershlak, a WPI graduate student in Gaudette’s lab. “This leaves behind the protein matrix and structure.” The soap punctured plant cell membranes and washed the deflated cells away; the overall effect was not unlike turning over a garden before planting new crops. 

Left behind was cellulose, a plant material known to be compatible with mammal tissue, as well as the intact leaf veins. The scientists seeded the now-vacated cellulose matrix with cardiac muscle cells. After five days, the muscle cells began to beat. 

It was not quite as if researchers grew an entire slab of quivering muscle from spinach. And, though the scientists watched red liquid course through the spinach veins, this was dye, not blood. But to witness individual human cells contracting on a spinach leaf, via microscope, was exciting enough for Gaudette to whip out his cellphone and began recording in grainy video. 

“It was definitely a double take,” Gershlak said, of discovering the beating muscle cells. “All of a sudden you see cells moving.” 

This was not the only instance in which researchers cultivated human tissue on a plant scaffold. Recently, a team of Ottawa scientists stripped an apple of its plant cells, carved a fruit slice to look like a human ear and filled its extracellular matrix with cervical tissue. 

But Gershlak, Gaudette and their colleagues were the first, they said, to use the technique in an attempt to repurpose plant veins. They poured tiny spheres through the spinach leaves. Beads 10 microns in diameter, a size on par with red blood cell, successfully flowed through the vein network. 

Though these early experiments served as proof-of-concept work, Gaudette said the study could be the foundation for stitching the veins of spinach leaves to human blood vessels. “Long term, we’re definitely envisioning implanting a graft in damaged heart tissue,” he said. 

But the researchers first need to make sure that plant scaffolds like these would not be rejected, once inside a host. They also plan to make their heart-spinach hybrids stronger. “If we stack decellularized leaves, can we create a large thickness,” Gaudette wondered, “more along the thickness of a human heart wall?” 

One advantage of working with plants was the cornucopia of options at the scientists’ disposal. In the new report, the biomedical engineers successfully stripped plant cells from parsley, peanut hairy roots and a species of wormwood in addition to spinach. The biomedical engineers imagined that a piece of broccoli or cauliflower, once stripped of its cells, could be a foundation for growing lung tissue. And researchers in Wisconsin, collaborating with the WPI lab, recently strolled through their campus arboretum, plucking exotic leaves to test. 


Scientists Have Discovered the Real Reason Why Whales Jump

Really no different than drumming and has the same effect. Whales are prey to no one so it works well to produce noise heard at a distance.  In this manner distant pods will pick up on the sounds and generally know where each other are even if no meeting is planned at all.

Like drumming. information transfer will be tricky unless prearranged.  In human terms we do have drumming which has a short range that is 360 but is heard at three to several miles.  It appears to work best in forests.   

Similarly we have the alphorn typically used on a hill top beacon and i suspect used heavily under pre roman Gallic rule.  since straight lines where cut through the land, it appears likely this was used to allow the alphorn sound to be directed from hill top to hill top as well as near local villages.  At worst a beacon signal could be relayed down to the village in the valley without sending runners.

All good stuff.


Scientists Have Discovered the Real Reason Why Whales Jump

By Lauren Phillips


Anyone lucky enough to see a massive whale leap through the air must have wondered why it does it—and new research out of Australia might have the answer. 

It’s hard to miss: A 30-ton mammal flings itself out of choppy waters, hanging in the air for a brief moment before its 45-foot frame crashes back into the water, sending a plume of sea foam into the air as it lands.

You’ve just seen a humpback whale breaching. These whales have been spotted breaching—or exposing large portions of their bodies above the water—year-round, in their winter breeding grounds, their summer feeding grounds, and while traveling between the two. Their breaching behavior while on the move caught the attention of a team of scientists in Australia, who wondered why—when breaching takes so much energy, and humpbacks rarely, if ever, eat while migrating—these giants would use their energy to jump unless it meant something.

Researchers working with the BRAHSS (Behavioural Response of Australian Humpback Whales to Seismic Surveys) project observed 94 different groups of humpback whales migrating past the coast of Australia en route to the Antarctic. In a scholarly article published in Marine Mammal Science, the team pinpointed specific surface behaviors—its term for the whales’ actions as they breach or slap the water with their fins—and what they might mean. It noticed the whales’ surface behaviors became more common on windy days or when there were other groups of whales very far away, supporting the opinion that whales use these behaviors as a form of communication. By leaping into the air or slapping the water with their fins, whales make major noise—noise that helps them communicate across large distances when background sounds from the weather, boats in the area, or other sources might block out their vocal noises.

The team concluded that these surface behaviors serve multiple communication purposes for migrating humpback whales, purposes that can’t be achieved by vocal sounds. It also tried to decipher what the whales are trying to say. According to the article, breaching is possibly communication between far-apart groups of whales. Whales use the incredible underwater noise they can create by crashing their bodies into the water as a signal to other groups in the area, while fluke (tail fin) or pectoral fin slapping may be important for close-range and between-group communication. The whales may use this communication to mediate social interactions such as groups coming together or splitting apart.

Humpback whales breach and display surface behaviors year-round, so, even though migrating whales were the focus of this study, it's possible that they use these actions for the same purposes wherever they are. These actions take place regardless of the presence of an opposite-sex pairing and outside breeding grounds, so it's unlikely that they are limited to mating behaviors. This Australian team only studied humpback whales, but all species of whales breach, and it's possible that other baleen whales (like blue whales) use breaching to communicate, too. 

The next time you’re fortunate enough to see a whale jumping above the water, know that ju

Monday, April 24, 2017

Scientists discover the 'beautiful' secret of how memories are made

Jim Carey

Intrigueing and possibly useful.  Since i also expect all sensury input is actually stored by the spirit body anyway, then the cortex connects to this data to provide a permanent record for cognitive use. 

Short term memory allows this information to be processed and to be decided upon.  Them the long tem memory is plausibly edited and even discarded.  Thus our need for sleep. 

This duality is an excellent way to actually process and develop memories using careful review and editing.. 

Scientists discover the 'beautiful' secret of how memories are made


Jim Carey in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind CREDIT: MOMENTUM PICTURES

Laura Donnelly, health editor 7 APRIL 2017 • 4:00PM

Scientists have discovered the secret of how memories are made - the brain makes two copies of every event, in a discovery they described as “beautiful”.

Researchers said even they were surprised when they realised the secret of how recollections are created and stored.

They found that the brain “doubles up" by simultaneously making two memories of events.

One is for the present and the second is for the long-term, they found.

It had been thought that all memories start as a short-term memory and are then slowly converted into a lifetime version.

Experts said the findings from MIT in the US and a team from Japan were “beautiful and convincing”.

Two parts of the brain are involved in collecting and storing personal experiences.

The hippocampus collects short-term memories while the cortex retains long-term memories.


Henry Molaison changed scientists' understanding of how memories work

Henry Molaison was no longer able to make new memories - ones from before the operation remained intact.

Scientists decided then that memories must be formed in the hippocampus and then moved to the cortex where they are "banked".

The new experiments, by the Riken-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics, carried out on mice, have established a very different theory.

They involved watching the way memories were formed as brain cells responded to a shock.

Light was then beamed into the brain to control the activity of individual neurons, switching memories on and off.

The results, published in the journal Science, found that in fact, memories were formed simultaneously in the hippocampus and the cortex.

Researchers said the cortex’s long-term memory did not seem to be used in the first few days after memories were formed, when it was “immature or silent”.

When scientists turned off the short-term memory, the shock event was forgotten.

Yet the mice could be made to remember by manually switching the long-term memory on.

Prof Susumu Tonegawa, the director of the research centre, said: “This is contrary to the popular hypothesis that has been held for decades.

"This is a significant advance compared to previous knowledge, it's a big shift."

He said the discovery was “surprising”.

The study also found the long-term memory never matured if the connection between the hippocampus and the cortex was blocked - suggesting that over time, the balance of power shifts to the cortex.

Guardians of a Vast Lake, and a Refuge for Humanity

Nice story line of course, but this is truly at the limits of human existence in a still arboreal environment.  Look at those trees.   I would like to see herds of musk ox here been managed well.  Reindeer would work well here also.  Yet most have to continuously migrate in order not to strip the land.

We do not have effective road systems in this country and may never as well.  Yet the Dempster tells us it is possible.  Yet it is so much a road to no where except artificial communities created by government fiat.

The north needs an internal economy and cheap access to Southern resources.  Lake fisheries are an obvious option that needs a combination of access and common financial support.  It may well be doable.  For the Eskimos. seal meat leaps to mind as a viable export product.
Guardians of a Vast Lake, and a Refuge for Humanity 

Two lodges used for smoking fish and drying meat were illuminated by the northern lights, near the site of the prophet Eht’se Ayah’s home. 

Christopher Miller for The New York Times 


February 7, 2017

Thousands of years ago, every lake was like Great Bear Lake. So pure you could lower a cup into the water and drink it. So beautiful that people composed love songs to it. So mysterious that many believed it was alive. Today, of the 10 largest lakes in the world, it is the last one that remains essentially primeval.

Great Bear Lake straddles the Arctic Circle in the remote Northwest Territories of Canada. At just over 12,000 square miles, the lake is the eighth largest in the world. It is bigger than Belgium and deeper than Lake Superior, and it is covered in ice and snow most of the year. The surrounding area is wilderness too — a sprawling land of untouched boreal forest and tundra, rivers and mountains.

The only human settlement on its shores is the town of Deline, population 503. This isolated community is mostly Sahtuto’ine, meaning the Bear Lake People. They are as connected to the lake as the name implies, and for practical, cultural, historic and even prophetic reasons, they are determined to keep it pristine.

Their efforts paid off in 2016. In March, the Great Bear Lake watershed was declared a Unesco Biosphere Reserve. Called the Tsá Tué Biosphere Reserve, it is the largest in North America, and the first in the world to be led by an indigenous community. Several months later, the Canadian government granted Deline self-government, ensuring local control in areas like language and education. It is the first time that an aboriginal government in Canada will represent everyone in the community, aboriginal and nonaboriginal alike. Taken together, the Unesco and self-government announcements reinforce Deline’s ability to control what happens to Great Bear Lake.

Slide Show | Canada’s Remote Northwest In Canada’s remote Northwest Territories, a world of boreal forests, vast frozen lakes and the magical northern lights. 

David Livingstone, now retired after decades of working on environmental issues for the Canadian government in the far north, helped Deline apply for Unesco designation. To the Sahtuto’ine, Great Bear Lake is “not just a body of water; it’s fundamental to their culture,” he said. “The folks in Deline consider the lake to be a living thing.” Great Bear Lake is important to Mr. Livingstone as well. “It is the last great lake of its size and quality on the planet,” he said. “It’s like the Mona Lisa — a world treasure.”
I had spent an hour or two in Deline back in 2014, as an American diplomat posted to Canada. It was July and the lake was ice-free, endless and flat to the horizon. During my three-year tour, it was the sole time I needed a translator, because many Deline elders speak only their own language, North Slavey.

This past November, I returned to Deline to learn more about the community’s relationship with the lake, to witness the interplay of culture, language, wilderness and isolation that makes this area so distinct.

It was late afternoon when the small plane dipped through a thick, low-lying cloud layer and I saw boreal forest — part of a vast biome that stretches across northern North America and Eurasia — as far as the eye could see. The plane descended toward a slender strip covered in white, Deline’s single runway. It was a short drive from the airport to the hotel where I was staying, the community-owned Grey Goose Lodge. For such a tiny community, Deline has more tourist infrastructure than I expected, including a small handicrafts store in the hotel and an ambition to welcome the growing number of tourists who travel to Canada’s north for a winter and wilderness experience.

Houseboats dotted the frozen surface of Great Slave Lake in Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Territories. 

The evening I arrived, I met with Morris Neyelle, a member of the new governing council, the K’aowedo Ke, as well as Danny Gaudet, a local businessman who was Deline’s lead negotiator for self-government. Sworn in on Sept. 1, the new Deline Got’ine Government is responsible for delivering an array of local programs and services. Mr. Neyelle, 65, tall and soft-spoken, switches easily between English and North Slavey. He said self-government allowed the residents of Deline to preserve their way of life and to use these traditions to tackle modern problems. In the past, Mr. Gaudet added, people would look only to the national and provincial government for help. Now, Deline would decide what was best for its people. This included making their own decisions about economic development, such as elevating cultural tourism through the community-run Destination Deline program. “Just on tourism alone, we think we can probably put everyone to work in this town,” Mr. Gaudet said.

Protecting the lake, however, is not just about self-preservation and increased tourism. For the Sahtuto’ine, Mr. Neyelle and Mr. Gaudet explained, the lake was a powerful force in the world: a place critical to the survival of the human species. This belief is based on the prophecies of a Sahtuto’ine elder named Eht’se Ayah, who died in 1940. Some believe Mr. Ayah’s prophecies are literal, others believe they are allegory.

Mr. Ayah foretold that in the future, people from the south would come to Great Bear Lake because it would be one of the few places left with water to drink and fish to eat. He said so many boats would come that you could walk from one to another without entering the water. Simply put, Great Bear Lake would be a last refuge for humanity.

Mr. Gaudet said the predictions were a big reason the new government pushed to have authority over everyone in the area, aboriginal and nonaboriginal alike. If “hundreds of thousands of people” come because of the prophecies and because “we have the freshest water in the world,” he said, then “you have to live under our rules.”

People in Deline told me that the weather had been changing in recent years, and that the summer season was getting longer. The lake is taking longer to freeze, and it’s melting earlier. Mr. Neyelle said climate change added a note of urgency to the prophecies; they may come true sooner than expected.

“Maybe we’re in that era now where everything is changing,” he said, and people from the south “are going to come.”

Late that evening, I walked along Deline’s main street and tried to imagine hundreds of thousands of people coming to the area. It was hard to do. The night sky was overcast, and the temperature had dipped to minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 23 Celsius). Specks of ice from the freezing-up of Great Bear Lake filled the air. The flecks caused outdoor lights to reflect upward, creating optical illusions called light pillars that made it seem as if each light had become a searchlight aimed at the sky.

I walked off the road and into a thicket of boreal forest. Hoarfrost from the lake clung to every surface of the trees and bushes. It covered even the undersides of spruce needles. I was hundreds of feet from the shoreline, yet Great Bear Lake was everywhere — in the air, on the ground and in the trees.

On the shore of Great Bear Lake, a Unesco Biosphere Reserve in the Northwest Territories of Canada. 

At 8 the next morning, I awoke to darkness. From November until January, Deline gets less than five hours of sun each day, although it makes up for that between May and July, when it gets over 22 hours daily. Eventually, I saw a glimmer of predawn on the horizon, but it was not until 10:30 a.m. that the first rays of sun peeked out. I walked outside and headed toward the church for Sunday Mass.
The round, yurt-shaped structure was in town, on the shore of Great Bear Lake. Chunks and shards of ice lay heaped on the shoreline, while farther out, the surface of the lake was pancake-flat, alternately skimmed white with snow or glistening with ice that froze overnight. A wedge of open water was visible just offshore. It looked turbulent, straining and frothing where it encountered the surface ice, as if it were determined not to freeze.

Deline is predominantly Roman Catholic. Inside the church, I witnessed the community’s focus on preserving North Slavey. An elder was leading the congregation in the rosary. His call was in North Slavey, and the response was in a mix of Slavey and English. During the Mass, the Gospel and the homily were in English, followed by an on-the-spot translation into North Slavey. The language is spoken everywhere — in church, on the streets and at home — as part of a concerted effort to keep it alive. The 2011 Canadian census counted only 225 people who identified the language as their mother tongue. But North Slavey is an official language of the Deline Got’ine Government and of the Northwest Territories.

For the moment, North Slavey is not on the verge of extinction. It belongs to a family of North American indigenous languages that includes Apache and Navajo. Children in Deline’s primary school are taught the language; this year, an elder began to teach North Slavey to high school students. Mr. Neyelle said the new government wanted to make acquiring and passing on the language a priority because it believed speaking North Slavey was crucial to preserving the culture. “Slavey is ours,” he said. “That’s where our powers lay.” He said his descriptions in Slavey had more depth and color than those in English, even though he was fluent in both. Teenagers I spoke to echoed this thought. They said jokes were funnier in Slavey.

Young villagers, from left, Amber Modeste, Adam Malgokak Inuktalik and Whitney Andre.

After Mass, I walked over to Great Bear Lake, curious about the little skein of open water I had seen hours earlier. To my surprise, it had disappeared. Thinking I was turned around, I kept searching, but saw only the reflective surface of new ice and beyond that, a large field of older, snow-covered ice. Mr. Neyelle confirmed that the water had frozen over during the time I was in church. He was not surprised it had happened so quickly. Sometimes, he said, you could actually see ice creeping across open water. His description made it seem like a fox or wolf stalking its prey.

We drove to Ski Hill, a gathering place for the community perched on top of a cleared rise near town. The sun had been up for three hours, but already it was getting dark. Several pickup trucks were parked close together, next to a recently built hut with a blazing fire pit in the middle. Children were sledding (despite the name of the hill, no one actually skis there), and some of the adults were test-driving a new snowmobile with a powerful engine. Strips of lake trout along with moose meat and hot dogs cooked on top of barrel grills. The atmosphere was festive, perhaps because it seemed as if Great Bear Lake was finally freezing over. This meant access to the entire lake, better fishing and, eventually, an ice road that would temporarily connect Deline to the outside world.

Or perhaps it was festive because these were friends gathering on a Sunday to enjoy the sunset, grilled food and conversation in North Slavey and in English. It reminded me that despite the groundbreaking nature of Deline’s self-government and Unesco status, it was still a small town. The type of town where the phone directory is a piece of paper taped to the wall.

One elder I met there was Charlie Neyelle, 72, Morris Neyelle’s older brother and the elders’ representative on the K’aowedo Ke. Charlie Neyelle is a spiritual and mental health guide for the community, and pushed for self-government and preservation of Great Bear Lake. I asked him a question I had posed to many people during my time in Deline: What does Great Bear Lake mean to you?

A cemetery at the edge of Deline, a town with just over 500 residents. 

In response, Mr. Neyelle told me the water-heart story, about a Sahtuto’ine ancestor who lived around Great Bear Lake, in an area called Caribou Point. One day the fisherman set out four hooks. When the fisherman returned to check on them, a lake trout had broken one of the lines and taken the hook. This bothered the fisherman, because in those days, hooks were extremely valuable. So that night, he transformed himself into a losch, also known as burbot, a freshwater version of cod. The fisherman swam down to the middle of the lake to look for the hook and heard a booming sound. There, at the bottom, he saw a gigantic beating heart. All the species of fish — trout, whitefish, pickerel, herring, suckers — faced the heart, surrounding and protecting it. He swam back to shore after seeing this, and the following morning when he went to check on his three hooks, he found three trout. One of them had the hook he had lost the day before dangling from its mouth.

When the fisherman saw the water-heart, he realized Great Bear Lake was alive, Mr. Neyelle said. “The lake gives life to the universal: grass, insects, willow, everything.” Some in Deline believe that the water-heart at the bottom of the lake gives life to all of the lakes, oceans and rivers in the world. For the Sahtuto’ine, this belief underscores not only why Great Bear Lake must be protected, but also why its protection is of global importance.

Toward the end of our conversation, Mr. Neyelle also mentioned Eht’se Ayah’s prophecy. “When there is no food or water all around the world, many will come to Great Bear Lake,” he said. “It will be one of the last places that has both.” No matter how many times I heard this apocalyptic prediction, it was jarring to hear, especially when inserted into conversations about Great Bear Lake’s beauty and providence.

The regular evocation of this prophecy reminded me of what happened on the other side of the lake in the 1940s, in Port Radium. The site of a large uranium ore mine, it was the most significant industrial development in Great Bear Lake’s history. During World War II, uranium from Port Radium was sent to the United States for the war effort, where it provided much of the material for the Manhattan Project and the atomic bombs that fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Although it stopped producing uranium in 1960 and is now abandoned, Port Radium was at its peak larger than Deline.'

Snow- and ice-covered bushes along the shore of Great Bear Lake. It’s the eighth largest lake in the world. 

Christopher Miller for The New York Times 

Irene Kodakin was born near Port Radium in 1952, when the mine was still in operation. Now living in Deline, she describes Port Radium as a thriving community of aboriginal and nonaboriginal workers brought to work in the mines.

Ms. Kodakin has happy memories of her childhood, in stark contrast to her experience in a residential school in Inuvik, a town more than 400 miles away. For much of the 20th century, the Canadian government forced many aboriginal children into these schools, with the goal of assimilating them into Canadian culture. “They would put their hand in our mouths and just press our bottom lips to our teeth until it bleeds” if you speak Slavey, she said. When she returned home, she could no longer speak North Slavey. Her older sister had to translate when Ms. Kodakin spoke to her own father.

A generation of Sahtuto’ine lived and worked at Port Radium. Although it was known at the time that exposure to uranium was dangerous, this warning did not reach them. Long after the mine closed, Sahtuto’ine who had been in Port Radium began to die of various cancers. Ms. Kodakin’s father, George Kodakin, who had become a respected pro-self-government chief in Deline, died of cancer at age 64. Ms. Kodakin’s older sister, aunts and uncles also died of it, and she believes the mine was the cause.

Ms. Kodakin’s belief is shared by many in the community, including Gina Beyha, a coordinator for the Unesco Biosphere Reserve who was a nurse in Deline for 15 years. While researching links between cancer and Port Radium, Ms. Beyha and others discovered that uranium taken from the sacred Great Bear Lake was most likely used in the bombs that detonated over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Many people, especially the elders, were aghast, Ms. Beyha said. In 1998, Deline sent a delegation to Japan for the annual Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony. It was a gesture of atonement as well as a way to start healing, particularly for the widows of men who had worked at Port Radium, who made traditional gifts that the delegation presented to the Japanese.

Children hiked up Ski Hill outside Deline for another sled run before the sun was fully set. 

During my time in Deline, the legacies of Port Radium and the residential schools were among many reasons people gave for protecting Great Bear Lake and for negotiating self-government. The others: to preserve Sahtuto’ine culture, to develop tourism, to honor elders and ancestors, and to prepare for the realization of Eht’se Ayah’s prophecies. After a week of talking with many Deline residents, these reasons all seemed tightly connected and at the core of the community’s identity.

Those not living on Great Bear Lake, however, gave another reason that was perhaps the simplest of all. The lake, like the Mona Lisa, is magnificent.
It draws the gaze as an ocean does. The slate blue ice and white snow merge seamlessly into the sky so that when you leave the shoreline, with brittle tiles of ice cracking underfoot, it feels like stepping into a cloud. And in the brief moments when the wind dies down, the silence is as deep and enormous as the lake itself.

During my last days in the area, I went exploring with a Deline resident, Leeroy Andre, his wife, Diane, and his 18-year-old daughter, Whitney. We would leave at sunrise and plunge into the boreal forest, following trails and old seismic lines. In the distance lay the frozen sheet of Great Bear Lake, and beyond, thick rolls of mist rose toward the sun, evidence of open water at the edge of the horizon. In North Slavey, this mist is called tah-tzeleh.

It is a land of ptarmigan and marten, musk ox, caribou, moose, wolf and bear. One day, after we had been out four hours, we came across a huge abandoned beaver lodge at least six feet high and twice as long. Around then, despite my wearing several layers, a parka and other gear, the cold started after me. It crept up from the ground onto my snowmobile. It cracked the rubber of my boots and shouldered inside. If I concentrated, I could feel ice crystals forming in my toes. When we started moving again, the cold took on the shape of a blanket and patiently tried to cover my shoulders and back.

At sunset, the moon appeared like a slender comma above the trees, glowing in the blue-black sky. We drove through marshmallow mounds: berry bushes covered in snow and hoarfrost for most of the year before they emerge in the summer and grow leaves and berries as fast as they can.

Dark came quickly, and we sped across yet another small lake connected to Great Bear Lake. The snowmobile’s headlight illuminated a blizzard of snowflakes as shiny as diamonds, as if the land were showing what true wealth looked like.

The northern lights appeared like a hallucination across the star-filled sky. For hours they moved in slow motion above me, as the land seemed to recede and I faced the cosmos. If a recent scientific theory proves correct, somewhere out in space is the origin of the earth’s water, which fills Great Bear Lake and gives us life.

This connected with something I was told when I first arrived in Deline. To the Sahtuto’ine, Great Bear Lake is not just a lake. They are part of it and it is part of them. No longer does this seem like a belief unique to their culture — it sounds like a universal truth. The water from Great Bear Lake flows in our veins, too.

Peter Kujawinski is a novelist and freelance journalist. He is a co-author of “Nightfall” and the forthcoming middle-grade novel “Edgeland.”

THE global investment bank Goldman Sachs has claimed mining asteroids for precious metals is a “realistic” goal.


 Someone is dreaming in technicolor.  It can only ever work with free energy and gravity control which is already a done deal but not so that these clowns will ever know.  Not their pay grade.

If you have those preconditions, then why bother at all?  We seriously do not need those metals in anything like the volume needed to justify the effort.

Then the magic nonsense of collapsing the global market.  No it will not.  If you control an infinite supply of anything you will sell sufficient at the optimal price to control the cash flow.  You will never give away an infinite supply so long as anyone will pay you good money.

THE global investment bank Goldman Sachs has claimed mining asteroids for precious metals is a “realistic” goal.
It has released a report exploring the possibility of using an “asteroid-grabbing spacecraft” to extract platinum from space rocks.

"While the psychological barrier to mining asteroids is high, the actual financial and technological barriers are far lower," the report said, according to Business Insider.
"Prospecting probes can likely be built for tens of millions of dollars each and Caltech has suggested an asteroid-grabbing spacecraft could cost $2.6bn."
The bank added: "Space mining could be more realistic than perceived."
It is believed an asteroid the size of a football field could be worth up to £40 billion.
However, bringing that much platinum back to Earth is likely to crash the precious metal market - and probably the rest of the economy with it.
Earlier this year, NASA said it was planning a mission to an asteroid so valuable it could cause the world's economy to collapse.

The mysterious "metal world" was formed during the turbulent birth of our solar system.
It is valued at £8,072 quadrillion ($10,000 quadrillion), according to Lindy Elkins-Tanton, the lead scientist on the NASA mission.

One of the world’s great chefs took on fast food

Remarkable piece here and it is also so hopeful.  Watts is actually working.  Capitalism has largely failed places like Watts and that is part fear and some cultural divide. Capitalism has also failed the poor in thesame way even when there is zero cultural divide.  After all, any white kid can clean up his act and shimmy his way into the room.

Yet this proves again that there is seoious business here to develop.  Better yet it provides the backbone of entry jobs that lifts the community out of poverty.

Government can help by agressively supplying services and capital access that allows even Macdonalds to build.

Disillusioned with fine dining, one of the world’s great chefs took on fast food. It has been harder than he ever imagined.

A little over a year ago, in a small building at the corner of East 103rd Street and Anzac Avenue in South Los Angeles, chef Daniel Patterson zigzagged among trainees in the bright clean kitchen of what was about to become Locol, the fast-food restaurant with a mission. Patterson was 47 years old, bone-pale and wiry, and among the most creative American chefs of his generation. He owned five restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area and had another on the way. He was also one of the cool kids of international fine dining, invited to speak at the most prestigious culinary conferences and part of a circle of friends that includes the Italian chef Massimo Bottura, the Danish chef René Redzepi, and the Australian chef Ben Shewry, owners of, respectively, the restaurants currently ranked first, fifth, and 33rd in the world.

Patterson’s trainees were almost entirely from Jordan Downs, the 714-unit public housing project in Watts. Many had never been employed before, and those with prior cooking experience had worked mostly in conventional fast food or prison cafeterias. They paid rapt attention as Patterson showed them how to weigh out patty-size balls of Locol’s signature burger blend, a pale pink combination of ground beef, tofu, barley, quinoa, and seaweed.
For the previous two years, Patterson and his partner Roy Choi, the tattooed king of L.A. food trucks, had been raising money, developing recipes, designing the Locol brand, overseeing construction, and giving presentations and interviews about their plan to disrupt the predatory corporate fast-food industry. They talked about creating a chain of gorgeous new restaurants that served healthy food at Burger King prices in so-called food deserts, impoverished communities where the only places that sell anything edible are liquor stores, convenience stores, and conventional franchises. They promised to hire from surrounding neighborhoods and pay fair wages while teaching the culinary fundamentals necessary to launch a cooking career. That first Locol, near Jordan Downs in the core territory of the Grape Street Crips, one of the most famous African American gangs in the United States, had been deliberately designed to appeal to neighborhood residents and not look like the first step toward gentrification.

Patterson and Choi were too culturally sophisticated to come out and say their expansion plans targeted other low-income African American communities, but that is what the list had come to look like. After East 103rd and Anzac, they hoped to build on the other side of Watts near the Nickerson Gardens housing project, then maybe nearby in Compton, then East Oakland, South Side Chicago, Detroit, and Ferguson, Missouri. Patterson even echoed tech culture’s obsession with scaling ideas to a thousand X, saying that he figured they might open a thousand Locols over the next five years.

To get that first Locol built, Patterson, who lives with his wife and two children in Oakland, spent half his time in Watts for more than six months while still working a full schedule of long and arduous dinner shifts at Coi, the two-Michelin-star restaurant in San Francisco at which he built his international reputation. Then, in early January 2016, Patterson permanently handed off Coi to another chef and spent nearly three straight weeks in Watts to prepare his crew for opening day.

Weaving through that kitchen, with only a week to go, Patterson found a pot of rice burning on the stove. His angular and sensitive face twitched with fury before he remembered the cardinal kitchen rule that Choi, who happened to appear just then, made for Patterson and other outsiders. To wit: “You cannot yell at people in Watts.”

“Not that we would,” said Choi, a no-nonsense presence weaving past in a black Stussy T-shirt and black ball cap.

“Well, some of the rich kids I deal with,” Patterson said, referring to his employees in San Francisco, “I have to yell to let them know I’m serious, because they’ve never known trauma or difficulties like people down here.”

“It isn’t a matter of that,” said Choi gently. “They’ve just never done this before. You can’t yell at someone for not ever doing something.”

Patterson took Choi’s point to heart and said, “Their learning curve really is much faster than anything I have ever seen.” Patterson beckoned to 36-year-old Keith Corbin, who learned to cook at home and during the ten years he spent in prison. After his release, Corbin worked for a year at a Chevron oil refinery, quickly rose to manager, then quit for a supervisory job at Locol, where his mother and brother had also been hired. With an air of enduring patience, Corbin leaned close as Patterson said, “Keith, we’re going to need to get all the cooks together for a come-to-Jesus moment, because if it continues this way, we are just going to get flattened. Speaking of … I’m getting flattened. I need a coffee.”

Patterson stepped out the back door onto a sunny patio where three neighborhood men worked as “ambassadors” — greeters, really, but also unofficial security guards and community liaisons tasked with convincing neighbors that Locol really was for them. Watts has such a deep history of economic betrayal and abandonment, such pervasive skepticism about outsiders making big promises, and such well-founded fear of gentrification — a billion-­dollar “urban transformation” plan has the support of Mayor Eric Garcetti — that acceptance of a splashy new restaurant created by two famous outsider chefs who are not African American was not a given.

Patterson embraced an ambassador named Anthony “Ant” Adams, a 44-year-old poet who was in the middle of telling a visitor about getting shot five times with an AK-47 during a 2007 attempt on his life a few yards from where he was currently standing. Patterson then walked past an ATM/lottery/tobacco shop where floor-to-ceiling bulletproof Plexiglas separated customers from the cashier and inventory. He entered a store called Donut Town & Water, where a young man sold doughnuts, water, and other convenience foods, also from behind Plexiglas. Patterson ordered coffee to go and said, as if exhilarated by the speed and audacity of his own thoughts, “I can’t remember if I told you that Roy and I might start a coffee company, too. We’re bringing back the great $1 cup. The fancy coffee industry is not going to be happy with us. We’re going into institutional food, too. We’re already talking about prisons and hospitals and schools. It all comes back to this question of ‘Why does our society always serve the worst food to the neediest people?’ It makes no sense. And everybody always says, ‘That’s just the way it is, there’s no other way,’ but we are going to prove that whole paradigm is fundamentally false.”

Patterson at Alta, one of his San Francisco restaurants 

Patterson prefers not to talk about his childhood in the affluent town of Manchester, Massachusetts. He offers only that he has few memories of his early family life and almost none of family meals. Patterson’s mother taught history and French; his father was a lawyer. As a teenager, Patterson started working in restaurant kitchens, and he found the ribald camaraderie more comfortable than his family’s privileged world. “They were misfits,” he said of the cooks and servers whom he met, “not the kind of people you’d find in a bank or an office, a little screwed up in some way but super-passionate and really caring. I know how to blend into a nice setting — it mostly means dressing well and keeping my mouth shut and a lot of please and thank you — but I wasn’t very well socialized.”

Patterson attended Duke University for one year. Not long after, he moved to California. At age 25, in 1994, he and his then wife opened Babette’s, a modern French restaurant in Sonoma. After closing Babette’s in 1999, they relocated to San Francisco and opened the more upscale and ambitious Elisabeth Daniel, which was nominated for a James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant in 2001 but failed in the economic downturn after 9/11.

Patterson also began to write. In 2004, he and perfume maker Mandy Aftel published a book titled Aroma: The Magic of Essential Oils in Food and Fragrance. His 2005 essay for The New York Times Magazine, “To the Moon, Alice?” caused controversy by arguing that Alice Waters’s outsize influence on Northern California cuisine was stifling culinary creativity. When Patterson opened Coi in 2006, in San Francisco’s strip-joint neighborhood, the notion of a relatively casual restaurant serving an expensive and extremely ambitious tasting menu — combining refined technique, foraged wild ingredients, and a quasi-mystical reverence for the natural world — was unheard of in Northern California.

Soon Patterson emerged as the face of a newly ambitious and outward-looking Bay Area food scene. He appeared in food gossip blogs frequently enough to have acquired that ultimate food-world honorific, a rap name — D-Pat — and opened additional restaurants, including Aster and Alta in San Francisco and Plum and Haven in Oakland. Patterson became a regular at the food conference that Redzepi held every year in Copenhagen and also at Cook It Raw, an invitation-only gathering for which A-list chefs flew somewhere remote, like rural Lapland or Ishikawa, to cook for one another in splendid isolation while posting Instagram updates that sent tsunamis of envy crashing through the world’s smartest kitchens. Those trips had a profound effect on Patterson’s reputation. As Bottura put it, “Daniel is known internationally as an extremely deep and important chef.”

Always thrilling and deeply satisfying, Patterson’s food had an abstracted originality that could make an evening at Coi feel less like hedonistic feasting than high culture — experimental chamber music, perhaps. 

Patterson’s stature abroad, however, never quite translated into unconditional love from San Francisco’s dining public and food critics. His intensity, artistic seriousness, and austere intellectualism would likely have gone over better in New York or Chicago, where they might have read as symptoms of admirable ambition rather than insufficient mindfulness. His food may have also played a role; always thrilling and deeply satisfying, it had an abstracted originality that could make an evening at Coi feel less like hedonistic feasting than high culture — experimental chamber music, perhaps — of the kind that lotus-eating Northern California has never wholly supported.

As his stature rose, Patterson received numerous invitations to cook at charity banquets and soon judged this a ridiculous way to better the world — lavishing fancy food on the rich in order to scare up crumbs for the poor. He turned his attention to Larkin Street Youth Services, a San Francisco nonprofit that helps homeless young people get off the streets. Malnutrition is a serious health concern, because most of these kids live on cheap processed food. So Patterson, on days off, invited groups of homeless teen­agers into Coi and taught them to make simple inexpensive meals like salad and chicken. Patterson’s students were so quick to prefer this healthier fare that he wondered if the junk-food habit might be driven by availability and familiarity more than taste.

Within Patterson’s cohort of peers, social purpose had become de rigueur, and organic carrots no longer sufficed. The Nordic Food Lab, an experimental kitchen founded by Redzepi, worked at combatting the global food crisis with insect protein, and Bottura created soup kitchens to feed the poor in cities like Milan and Rio de Janeiro. Patterson eventually started a nonprofit of his own called the Cooking Project, through which other chefs volunteered with homeless kids, and he began to wonder whether a new kind of restaurant chain could break the stranglehold of fast food in poor communities.

Patterson sat on this idea until early 2013, when he suffered a depression so severe — he described feeling as if he had lead in his veins — that he sought help. All his creativity was gone. “I went to a doctor,” he said, “and I was like, ‘Yeah, so I’m depressive and I need something,’ and he said, ‘Do you want to kill yourself?’ ‘No, that would take way too much energy.’ He said, ‘You can take Prozac, but it might kill your libido, or Wellbutrin, but it might make you speedy.’ Is that really a choice?” As medication put Patterson’s demons “behind glass,” as he put it, he began to suspect that pursuit of a third Michelin star might not be the path to happiness.

That August, in Copenhagen, Patterson saw Choi give a talk about poverty on the streets of Los Angeles. Choi had grown up in an immigrant family in L.A., worked briefly selling mutual funds before culinary school, and struggled as a fine-dining chef before he bought his first food truck in 2008. Choi’s Korean-barbecue tacos, savantlike understanding of street food more generally, mediagenic personality, and commitment to feeding the less-than-wealthy soon made him the biggest food celebrity in Los Angeles, with multiple restaurants and a chic hotel in Koreatown.

In Copenhagen, Choi pointed out that most chefs spend their lives titillating the palates of a tiny slice of privileged humanity while ignoring everyone else. He concluded by asking, “What if every high-caliber chef, all of us here, told our investors … that for every fancy restaurant we would build, it would be a requirement to build a restaurant in the hood as well?”

“I just immediately thought, ‘That’s my guy,’” Patterson said. “I was like, ‘This is the purpose I’ve been looking for.’” A few months later, he called Choi to propose going into business together. Choi said, “Yeah, let’s go.”

“Chefs are like that,” Patterson told me. “We move fast.”

Soon after the
phone conversation, Patterson flew to Los Angeles and met Choi for lunch. On the spot, they decided to compete with national chains and embrace classic fast-food trappings: cartoon characters aimed at children, dining rooms that felt like playgrounds. The food would incorporate beef, chicken, and pork but also sprouted whole grains and legumes, fresh and fermented vegetables and fruits, and no added sugars or artificial fats. There would be no french fries or sodas, but Locol would otherwise adapt familiar forms like burgers, tacos, chili con carne, and noodles— to meet customers where they were and deliver the same addictive sensory pleasures as fast food while never advertising healthfulness or cultural superiority.

Patterson and Choi make an odd couple, with the former coming off like mid-career Woody Allen, vacillating between anguished alienation and passionate connection to others, and the latter oozing socially conscious hip-hop charisma. They complement each other remarkably well. Patterson, for example, had zero personal relationship to fast food. Choi sent him emails that said things like “‘I want something that feels like a monster taco — crispy on the edges, just enough greasiness.’ It was almost like I was sending Daniel paper airplanes going, ‘Hey, Daniel, if we’re going to do fast food, this is fast food.’ I was looking for addictiveness. ‘Can I imagine people I know with this in their hands and being hyped about it?’”

Patterson and Choi were too culturally sophisticated to come out and say their expansion plans targeted low-income African American communities, but that is what the list had come to look like.
For the mood of the inevitable burger, Choi thought about being 16 years old — “trying to get laid, problems at home, trying to do better in school but wanting to smoke a joint,” he said. “Scanning the streets trying to see if anyone’s creeping, smoking a cigarette under the streetlamp in the fog. It was sitting on the curb and eating two cheeseburgers from McDonald’s and having an Oreo shake. Down to how I love to tear the sauce packet, the sound of the paper. I knew we had to honor those OCD nerd things that everyone who eats fast food has a connection to.”

Patterson turned these thoughts into a burger through a mental process that sounds almost comically dissimilar: “I thought, ‘OK, burger: cost problem, health problem.’ Arrow to solution: ‘Mix in something not meat.’ Scroll down list of possible ingredients, winnow to grains and tofu. Arrow to flavor problem. ‘No flavor in those things.’ Arrow to umami. Scroll list of umami ingredients. ‘I want MSG, but let’s go old-school: seaweed, garum, white soy, flavors of fermentation that lock together to create a propulsive umami under the meat flavor, so that it tastes like meat-plus.’ Then, ‘What grain?’ And then, ‘I’m going to fine-pulse the grain for texture. Got it, like it.’”

Garum is a liquid flavoring typically derived from fermented fish, much like Vietnamese fish sauce. Patterson sourced an unusual beef garum—a means of enhancing flavor without artificial ingredients—through Redzepi, who had developed one at his Copenhagen restaurant, Noma. Patterson leaned on another of his cool-kid friends for the buns. Chad Robertson of San Francisco’s Tartine Bakery delivered a recipe leavened in part with a Korean fermented rice known as koji, which adds sweetness, umami, and digestibility. To this bun, Patterson added Monterey Jack cheese, relish made from burnt scallions and lime, and what they called “awesome sauce” built around tomato and gochujang, the Korean fermented chili paste.

In July 2014, Choi brought his wife and daughter into Coi for dinner. Coi had recently been included for the first time on the Restaurant Magazine list of the world’s 50 best restaurants, at number 49, so business was surging. During the meat course, Patterson sent Choi’s table the first complete Locol cheeseburger. Choi told Patterson to thicken up the sauce so it didn’t run and smash the sandwich on the griddle for that all-important L.A. functionality, eating with one hand while driving with the other.
Staff members created a secret menu at the Watts Locol, which improved sales. 

It is one thing to build a brand and a burger, of course, and quite another to launch a viable business in Watts, a 2-square-mile community of 41,000 people with high unemployment, organized gangs at each of its four major housing projects, and exactly two sit-down dinner restaurants — a Subway and a Popeyes. Watts is 70 percent Latino and 20 percent African American, but it has long been a center of African American cultural and political life, with world-class public art and community groups that — as I was told by the captain of a nearby LAPD station — have dramatically reduced violent crime. Watts has also been starved of bank credit and investment capital for generations, however, and the closest thing to meaningful economic development in the past half-century was a shopping center built just outside the neighborhood boundary in the 1980s.

Locol ended up in Watts by accident: A planned first store in San Francisco’s Tenderloin stalled over landlord hassles, so Choi mentioned Locol to a Watts community activist named Aqeela Sherrills, who grew up in Jordan Downs, helped to broker a historic 1992 gang truce, and now consults nationwide on gang-violence prevention. Sherrills happened to own a small commercial building on East 103rd, a street that burned to the ground during the 1965 riots and later came to be kown as Charcoal Alley. He rented the space to Patterson and Choi and then walked the neighborhood with Choi to build trust. Sherrills also helped them hire former Grape Street Crips as ambassadors and, as project manager, a man named Vaughn Glover, who’d grown up in the affluent African American neighborhood of Baldwin Hills and graduated from Columbia University and the Wharton School of Business.

Patterson and Choi make an odd couple, with the former vacillating between anguished alienation and passionate connection, the latter oozing socially conscious hip-hop charisma.

Glover became the face of Locol at Watts community events and took on bureaucratic hurdles, like the perplexing discovery that in the early ’90s, with minimal community input, that stretch of 103rd Street had been rezoned residential. Every local business, as a result, was out of compliance and therefore required to pay an annual variance fee for nothing at all. This also meant that Patterson, just to get the city’s permission to use an existing commercial building for a normal commercial purpose that would bring dozens of jobs, had to spend many thousands of dollars over six months of bureaucratic hassle just to get a variance of his own.

Once that variance came through, Patterson hired yet another prominent Watts native as general contractor: Prophet Walker, who had served six years in state prison, earned an engineering degree from Loyola Marymount University, and built a management career with one of California’s largest construction companies. After a break-in during which a burglar cut a hole in the ceiling, a previous tenant of the building had poured concrete over the entire roof, leaving the structure on the verge of collapse. Once the ceiling was demolished and the floor torn up, it was discovered that the dirt below was riddled with hundreds of glass bottles left over from a PCP-dealing operation. Then a city inspector decided that Locol had exceeded its demolition permit and shut down the entire job until further notice.

Almost every city agency, Patterson came to believe, provided a level of service in Watts that would not have been tolerated in affluent white neighborhoods. Garbage sat uncollected in alleyways; street-cleaning vehicles sped through so fast they seemed to make everything dirtier; police allowed constant low-level criminal activity outside the smoke shop with the bulletproof Plexiglas. Getting all this dealt with, however, risked raising local resentment over outsiders receiving special treatment. As Glover put it, “One of the hallmarks of gentrification is that once white people move in, it’s not just that coffee shops and cheese shops open, it’s that the city starts providing services they were supposed to provide in the first place.” Walker ended up telling the police that Patterson and Choi wanted their help and needed the area cleaned up but could not have anybody knocking heads on account of Locol.

Patterson and Choi scheduled Locol’s official opening for 11 a.m. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2016. A line started forming five hours early. At 8:30, an ambassador named John “Ready” Bailey raised the steel shutters to reveal three pairs of double doors and three giant windows. In place of glass, these openings had screens, such that music playing inside would always be audible on the street and anyone walking past could chat with anyone in the dining room. Such radical openness would have been unexceptional in Santa Monica, but here it read like an architectural billboard declaring Watts a safe and thrilling place to do business.

Watts has been starved of bank credit and investment capital for generations, and the closest thing to meaningful economic development in the past half-century was a shopping center built just outside the neighborhood in the 1980s.

Sixteen out of the 20 employees in the kitchen were African American, and the dining room, painted black and off-white, was decorated with moody photographs of Watts taken by the underground rapper Evidence. Like all entrepreneurs who consider their businesses “heart-driven,” Choi and Patterson had written up a mission statement. They knew about widespread concern in Watts that Locol would soon discover how hard the neighborhood could be and leave, so they settled on a peculiar no-promises phrase painted in large letters across an interior wall: We are here!!

At 10:30, a navy convertible Bentley eased to the curb and Jim Brown, the NFL Hall of Famer, rose from the driver’s seat. With jumbo-size golden scissors, he sliced a red ribbon across the front doors. Then the actors/directors Lena Dunham and Jon Favreau arrived, and the DJ cued Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream.” The crowd fell into reverential silence for King’s speech, and Patterson emerged from the kitchen to embrace Ready and Sherrills with the stilted but affectionate chest-bump hug that he was still learning. Patterson’s wife, who had driven down from Oakland with the couple’s children and their two pony-size Great Danes, looked on. Patterson picked up his 5-year-old daughter, his face radiant with joy.

King’s speech ended, and then Adams, the poet and ambassador, titrated customers into Locol. The rich and famous kept coming. Tyrese Gibson, pop singer and star of the Fast and Furious movies, showed up in a silver Rolls-Royce. Mayor Eric Garcetti stood on a box out back and congratulated Roy Choi and “two other men” whose names he could not remember — an unintentional zinger that sent Patterson walking quietly away.

Like many Americans, Patterson had been consumed for the prior year with the horror of police killings of African Americans and the mass murder of African American worshippers in a South Carolina church by a white supremacist. He had been deeply affected by Ta-Nehisi Coates’s bestselling Between the World and Me and trained his staff during a summer when two people were killed in Watts — one a 16-year-old boy shot on the same block as Locol. Employees held bake sales to raise money for plane tickets so that relatives could attend funerals. He also made friends. A wounded outsider at heart, involuntarily hunting for dishonesty, deception, and insult in the eyes of everyone he meets, Patterson responded to a distinctive emotional style in Watts, an impulse to judge people on the sincerity of their self-presentation: Don’t lie about who you are and we’re more likely to accept whoever you might be.

That sense of belonging was coupled with a conviction that his Watts employees’ competence and work ethic were more impressive than what he’d seen in most restaurants, and he found himself thinking, “Well, of course! All you have to grant me is that Watts has a perfectly average human distribution of talent and intelligence and that no company ever skimmed off the cream for staff, and so how could it be any other way?”

That led to the awkward realization that every other one of Patterson’s kitchens — like nearly every fine-dining kitchen in America — was run by white men who complained eternally about a terrible shortage of cooks and yet rarely hired African Americans. So Patterson decided that Locol would make a point of rotating employees through his and his friends’ restaurants.

In mid-March of last year, Locol caught the eye of the African American venture capitalist Stephen DeBerry, a partner in Kapor Capital, the well-regarded Oakland firm. Through his own firm, Bronze Investments, DeBerry led a round that generated enough funding for Locol to open more stores. Patterson commissioned a meat-and-sauce fabrication plant in East Oakland. Soon he flew east with Sherrills and Corbin—who had been promoted to corporate chef—for a meeting with Mayor Ras Baraka of Newark, New Jersey, about opening a store there. Patterson told me that plans called for a Chicago store, too, and then Atlanta. “From Atlanta we spread thru the South,” he wrote in an email. “From Chicago thru Midwest. Starting to grapple with concepts around regional hubs. Start in low-income places that need it the most, and then spread into the affluent areas.”

DeBerry knew that Locol was a complicated cultural package. “The cavalry has arrived, and it doesn’t look like we imagined,” he told me. “It’s a white dude and a Korean dude and a Chinese dude” — he was referring to Hanson Li, the company’s business manager — “and a black dude, but let’s get past that. This is blossoming into something important and special.”

By opening a Locol in Uptown Oakland, a much more affluent neighborhood than Watts, the company made a strategic shift.

Locol sold more
than a thousand burgers in Watts on opening day, and long lines persisted for weeks as curious outsiders kept coming. Food & Wine named it Best New Restaurant of 2016, and Los Angeles Times critic Jonathan Gold placed Locol at number 58 on his 101 Best Restaurants list. Eventually, however, those lines faded. At about the four-month mark, I dropped by during the lunch hour to find a sparse crowd that included the vice principal of the elementary school across the street; four 30-something white women; Los Angeles chief of police Charlie Beck, who dined out back with his deputy chief and a plainclothes security detail; and few Watts residents.

Sherrills told me this was typical. “You come down here on any given afternoon,” he said, sounding frustrated, “and the majority of people spending money at Locol are white and Asian, foodies and hipsters. Folks from the neighborhood, they look in the door and they’re like, ‘Oh my God, that’s gorgeous! That’s not for me.’ That happens.

“You have to understand this about black folks, too,” he said. “We don’t jump in with just hands and feet, because we’ve been let down so many times. We’ve been betrayed so many times, we’re tired of having our hearts broken. So it’s like we’ve got to walk slow up to it, we’re going to check it out all the way around, and then after we say it’s cool, then it’s on.”

Patterson trained his staff during a summer when two people were killed in Watts — one a 16-year-old boy shot on the same block as Locol. Employees held bake sales to raise money for plane tickets so that relatives could attend funerals.

Patterson always knew that overcoming that reluctance was going to take work, and he had explicitly asked his longtime restaurant architect, Scott Kester, to design a space that Watts residents would find welcoming. “A restaurant is all symbolism,” Patterson told me. “From how it’s painted to the color scheme to the music and the decor. Before you talk to one person, that environment has told you who that restaurant is for. If they want their customers to be rich, they create symbolism where rich people feel comfortable and poor people do not.” Patterson explained the effect this can have on a community by saying, “If you go into a neighborhood like, say, Bedford-Stuyvesant in New York, and you open a Blue Bottle Coffee, you’ve taken a ruling-class-symbolic business and, by implanting it there, said to the locals, ‘This is the prow of the ship.’”

Akida Kissane Long, principal at Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary, the school across the street, went out of her way to praise Patterson and Choi. But, she said, “I’ve seen more white people in Watts in the past six months than I have in my whole lifetime.” Members of her own staff, she said, still had conflicted emotions. “They feel like, ‘Now that it’s cool to come to Watts, you’re here. Where were you when it wasn’t cool?’ It’s not ‘What did you bring white people here for?’ But that it has attracted people into this community who didn’t know Watts existed. And I may not have realized I was marginalized until I check my reaction to the people coming here. There’s a bittersweet thing that stays bitter more than sweet.”

Locol was never going to be easy, but it turned out to be hard in curious ways, like the time Corbin stood out front as an armored car pulled up to collect earnings. An acquaintance of Corbin’s commented that he hadn’t known Locol made so much money, and within minutes Corbin had Patterson order the business office never to use an armored car again. Then there was the fact that the name “Locol” incorporates a signature Crips slang term, loc, from the Spanish loco. Combined with its address, near the intersection of East 103rd and Grape streets, that may have contributed to a feeling elsewhere in Watts that Locol was a Crips thing, and a Grapes thing above all, and therefore not entirely safe for people from other parts of the neighborhood.

“Some of the old cats, like the older daddies, they come,” said Corbin’s mother, Lydia Friend, who is general manager at Locol. “But these youngsters trying to make a name for themselves, they ain’t coming. Even if you see them come this way, the police will say, ‘Where are you going? Turn around.’”

When I met with Patterson in May, he acknowledged that the Watts Locol was losing money. “We thought we might do $6,000 a day,” he told me. “We’re doing $2,300, and that just covers payroll.” He responded in part by redesigning the cheeseburger. “As good as it is, people don’t crave it. So we’re talking about it and then I suddenly knew what needed to happen,” he told me by email. “I got up from my seat, walked back in the kitchen, mixed the awesome sauce with buttermilk mayo and chopped cucumber pickles and a small amount of scallion relish until it was secret-sauce-ish. Cheeseburger, sauce, and some romaine lettuce on top. And suddenly it was a McDonald’s burger, but better.”

Lydia Friend, meanwhile, worked to turn things around by embedding Locol more thoroughly in Watts community life. She offered discounts to a men’s poker group and a women’s knitting group and organized a big “Taste of Watts” food and hip-hop festival, for which the LAPD closed nearby streets. The staff created — with Patterson and Choi’s blessing — a “secret menu,” including O.J.’s Burrito and Kaitlyn’s French Toast Sundae. Several employees told me the new items were selling well, and Friend said the first Watts resident to become a truly devoted regular was a cousin of Corbin’s named Raymond Arnold, a 31-year-old father of five known alternately as “Ray-Ray” and “Mafia,” who always ordered O.J.’s Burrito.

Last summer, Arnold went for a haircut at a salon on Crenshaw Boulevard and was shot during an argument. “Everybody that knows him and knows that he loved Locol,” Friend told me, “they come in and order his burrito, something to remember him by. They sit around and talk and laugh and tell us to play his song” — by a rapper named Lucci — “that goes, ‘Mafia, Mafia, Mafia.’ And now the police, the sheriffs, the city employees, the hospital, everybody’s coming. They just want Locol to work.”

Slow sales in Watts
prompted a strategic pivot. “We thought we would be able to open only in Watts, Detroit, South Side Chicago, without touching affluent areas,” Patterson told me. “But we need some busy stores. So we lose money in Watts right now, and we do that for a little while, and the reason is we don’t want to lay anyone off.” Patterson saw a chance to compensate by opening a Locol in Oakland’s affluent Uptown commercial district. One of his restaurants, Plum, was struggling there, so he had contractors split it in half to create Plum Bar on one side and a Locol on the other.

A friend of Choi’s, the hip-hop artist Bambu de Pistola, passed along word that people in Oakland’s historically impoverished African American community Deep East might feel passed over if Locol opened only in Uptown. So Patterson scouted a Deep East pizza shop to buy and develop at the same time as Uptown, and gave Uptown a Deep East brand identity by covering an interior wall with a gorgeous black-and-white photograph of two young men smiling on bikes near a Deep East bus stop — the aesthetic equivalent of those old family photos in Italian restaurants and Jewish delis.

De Pistola also advertised Locol Uptown’s job fair in Deep East, but few people made the trek to Uptown for interviews. I dropped by Locol Uptown that day and saw Choi step onto the sidewalk and look around in disbelief. “The Bay Area is weird, man,” he said. “We’re surrounded by people, cars, all day long, but there’s this thing in the Bay where they are not interested. If this was in L.A., even if they didn’t need a job, people would be like, ‘What’s up? What’s going on?’ Here, it’s like we don’t even exist.”

In mid-March of last year, Locol caught the eye of the African American venture capitalist Stephen DeBerry, who led a round for Locol that generated enough funding to open more stores.

Turnout was a little better on May 25, 2016, when Locol Oakland opened for business. Of course, May 25 was not a national holiday celebrating a slain civil rights leader. Neither Patterson nor Choi enjoys the kind of celebrity in Oakland that Choi does in L.A., and Uptown could not be less of a food desert. Uptown’s racially diverse crowds, furthermore, make enough money that the difference in price between a $5 Locol cheeseburger and the $12 kale chicken Caesar salad across the street is unlikely to be dispositive.

I ate nearly the entire Locol menu and was startled by how much I liked it. Patterson’s food seems to have been at once too Coi for Watts and too close to conventional fast food for Uptown, where it had none of the context that made Locol Watts so intriguing to what Sherrills aptly called “foodies and hipsters.” That interstitial quality — neither here nor there — was likely responsible for slower-than-expected sales during Locol Oakland’s first six months in business. It was almost certainly responsible for the devastating review that New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells published on January 3 of this year. “Dry burgers made with filler bring me, at least, right back to school lunch and Boy Scout camp,” Wells wrote. He described the Locol fried chicken as “mysteriously bland and almost unimaginably dry” and said “the best thing to do with it is pretend it doesn’t exist.”

The Los Angeles Times’s Jonathan Gold wrote a thoughtful defense in which he said the real question was not how Locol’s burgers compared to more expensive options but “why The New York Times was using its main restaurant column to gripe about bland turkey chili in an Oakland burger stand whose mandate was to feed a community with limited access to good, nutritious food.” In a text message that surfaced in yet another Los Angeles Times defense of Locol, Choi wrote, “I ain’t mad at Pete. But what he didn’t take into context is that none of our team ever had a job before. They didn’t deserve these harsh words, as they’re trying their best every day.”

Choi’s sentiment recalls John Updike’s first rule for book reviewers: “Try to understand what the author wished to do, and do not blame him for not achieving what he did not attempt.” Wells would doubtless have sensed this if he had gone to the Locol in Watts, where he could have seen that neighborhood and staff and thought twice about harming their prospects. But he didn’t, so Wells saw what is also true: In addition to its good intentions and positive impact on dozens of lives, Locol is a for-profit would-be mega-chain owned and operated by a pair of celebrity chefs, and thus fair game for a critic.

I dropped by Locol Oakland at 1 p.m. a few weeks later and found the place nearly empty — with the exception of Choi, de Pistola, and Patterson. I could feel their duress.

Patterson, looking for somewhere quiet to talk, led me into Locol’s rear kitchen and through a door into Plum Bar, a room lined with artisanal whiskeys and liquors, which was closed for the day. He brought a pitcher of water and two glasses to a window table. “Why would a reporter from The New York Times fly 3,000 miles to go apeshit on a five-dollar burger?” he said. “It was like aliens possessed him. I was there all week. The food he described and the food he ate were different, right? I do this for a living. I have a lot of flaws, but my palate is not one of them. So what is it that is invading people’s brains and changing their perceptions?” Then Patterson shrugged and said, “Maybe I have one review in The New York Times in my entire career and it’s zero stars. That’s awesome, right?”

He reminded me that all businesses have growing pain
s; Locol was no different, and they were moving forward — “not exactly the way we planned, but that’s every restaurant that tries something new.” That Oakland meat-fabrication plant, which happened to be in a neighborhood analogous to Watts, would soon become a retail outlet. Patterson had just been down to Watts, too, helping Corbin develop a new shrimp-and-grits item for the revamped Locol menu on which nearly all evidence of Patterson’s culinary innovations were erased in favor of straightforward Americana: double cheeseburger, chili cheeseburger, waffles ’n’ wings, chili cheese fries. Patterson insisted this was merely an evolution and not a retreat from Locol’s original conception. It was true that every burger on the new menu had a veggie option and green juice was still available. On the other hand, Patterson had initially hoped never to serve fries.

“Watts took a while to find its groove,” he told me, “but the sales have gone up dramatically this year, after the new menu.” Locol Watts also launched a food truck and started catering, which has increased revenue. “L.A. will be in the black in the second quarter, as will Oakland,” he said, adding that the company still was planning to expand nationally and that a spin-off coffee business — the one he and Choi had been talking about from the start — would be coming in late spring

Patterson reminded me that all businesses have growing pains; Locol was no different, and they were moving forward — “not exactly the way we planned, but that’s every restaurant that tries something new.”

Patterson seemed also to have confronted the biggest elephant in the room by removing himself from the management team and taking on more of a background role. “Don’t you think the optics of a white person being in charge of an entire staff of color is problematic?” he asked. “So why do it?” Later still, over the telephone, he told me, “I have a role to play, but it’s behind the scenes.” Patterson also mentioned putting time into his other restaurants, especially Alta. He has deals in the works to open three more Altas, and is partnering with the nonprofit Restaurant Opportunities Centers United to bring more people of color into his kitchens and dining rooms.

The last question I asked Patterson was a banal one: What had he learned in the three years since he and Choi had first plotted Locol over lunch in L.A.? He laughed and said, “I have learned that crazy people make very bad narrators of their own stories.”

He told me that he’d been to Europe recently for a chefs’ conference and hung out in Copenhagen with Redzepi and Ferran Adrià, arguably the world’s two most famous chefs. “It’s this moment where I’m in the moment and I’m with people I love. Still, I felt very awkward. I felt like I wasn’t a part of that world, and in a sense, you know, I’m not, innately. We have a lot of affection for each other, and we get along, but that doesn’t mean I’m of that world in any kind of deep way. Maybe there was a lot of searching in vain for an answer that was there kind of all along.”

I asked what that answer might be.

“That I was never going to fit in anywhere,” Patterson said. “To accept that is to stop looking for that type of belonging.”

I turned the question back toward Locol, and he said he had learned that “the depth and breadth of institutional racism in this country is impossible to understand unless you spend time in the places and with the people most affected, and even then you really can only understand a fraction of it.”

Roy Choi was the subject of a profile by Jay Caspian Kang (“Roy Choi’s Master Plan”) in the December 2014 issue of California Sunday.

Daniel Duane recently won the 2017 International Association of Culinary Professionals Award for Narrative Food Writing for his previous piece in California Sunday (“My Dinners with Harold”). His work has appeared in The New York Times, Food & Wine, and Men’s Journal, among other publications.

Sasha Arutyunova is a Moscow-born, Brooklyn-based photographer. She was named one of PDN’s 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch in 2017.

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