(TMU) – Christopher Walken and Christina Ricci will be starring in a new film that tells the true story of Percy Schmeiser, an independent canola farmer from Canada who fought Monsanto in court for many years, and became a symbol of defiance against the notorious bio-agriculture company.
The film is called Percy, and it details the story of how Schmeiser relentlessly fought back against the company’s seed patents, which they used to file massive lawsuits against countless farmers all over the world.
Schmeiser’s fight with Monsanto began just after the company’s patented seeds were approved for use in Canada in 1996. Monsanto’s seeds were unique because they were genetically engineered to withstand the company’s powerful chemical herbicide called “Roundup.”
In recent years, it has been revealed that Glyphosate, the primary ingredient in Roundup, causes cancer, but this was not known to the public until long after Schmeiser’s battle with the company.
The seeds designed to withstand this chemical were known as “Roundup Ready” seeds, and because they were patented, Monsanto was able to dictate how these seeds were used by farmers.
For example, farmers were required to buy new batches of seeds each year, and were forbidden from saving seeds from previous years and reusing them.
Like most farmers, Percy collected seeds for future use, and while he never entered a contract with Monsanto to purchase their seeds, some of them ended up on his property somehow anyway. He collected the seeds when he found them, and later planted them on his farm, just as he had many times before.
As soon as Monsanto’s seeds reached the market, the company sent out workers to take samples from farms all over the country to determine if there was any unauthorized use of their seeds.
After taking samples from Schmeiser’s farm, they found that he was using patented seeds from the year before and had never purchased any from the company.
In 1998, Monsanto sued Schmeiser for patent infringement. The company won the initial trial and multiple following appeals, so Schmeiser ended up taking his case to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme court also ruled in favor of Monsanto, to uphold the precedent that the company could sue farmers over the unauthorized use of their patented seeds.
However, due to the fact that Schmeiser never technically entered a contract with Monsanto, he never actually agreed to the company’s terms of service, which meant that he was not liable for breaking the terms.
The technicality allowed Schmeiser to avoid paying Monsanto any money, while still allowing the company to conduct business as usual with enforcing their seed patents.
In 2010 Percy told Democracy Now! that Monsanto attempted to ruin his life for fighting the case.
“They tried to seize all our farmland, our farm equipment, so they could stop us, because we were using mortgages on our farmland to pay for our legal bills,” he said.
In a statement announcing the trailer for the film, Mongrel Media, said that this film is intended to raise awareness about GMO seed patents and their impact on the farming industry.
“Ultimately, through his David and Goliath battle, Percy helped stall the spread of GMOs, and the takeover of our food system by greed-driven corporate interests,” the statement read.
I'm always down for a good story about people fighting corporate douchebags, and Walken looks like he's giving it his all in this. Christopher Walken stars in this as Percy Schmeiser, along with Christina Ricci in an upcoming drama based on real life events. https://youtu.be/wl3zc9WYJXw
Posted by CinemaBox Trailers on Monday, September 7, 2020
“Murder Hornet” Nest Was Found and Destroyed That Had Almost 200 Queens
Scientists in Washington, at Washington State University, discovered and exterminated dozens of Asian giant murder hornets among them, they found around 500 live specimens in various stages of development in their first known nest, officials communicated.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture issued a virtual press conference to explain the situation. Scientists made the discovery in late October, inside a tree on a private residence in Whatcom County.
The agency placed traps in the area in early October after a homeowner reported a specimen, Spichiger said. Four live hornets were caught in the traps which then entomologists attached radio trackers to three of them, and one led them to the nest on October 22nd.
Inside the nest researchers found:
- 190 total larvae that developed from eggs.
- 108 pupae, the next stage after larvae. They were nearly all queens.
- 112 workers, which included 85 workers previously vacuumed out of the nest.
- 76 queens, nearly all of them new virgin queens. New queens emerge from the nest, mate and then leave to find a place to spend winter and later start a new colony.
In total that’s more than 500 murder hornets that the team found in the nest which was about 14 inches long and up to 9 inches wide, CBS News reported.
Sven-Erik Spichiger, an entomologist, leading the fight to kill the hornets said: “We got there just in the nick of time.” Spichiger added that the nest of massive potentially deadly hornets in Washington state likely isn’t the only one in the U.S. “We do believe there are additional nests,” he said at the virtual conference on Tuesday.
The researchers say it’s impossible to know if any queens escaped before the first nest was destroyed. Vespa mandarinia or otherwise known as the giant Asian murder hornet is the world’s largest hornet species. Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) officials posted a video presenting the captured queens crawling inside vials. Most of the specimens were still alive when the nest was opened, WSDA said. The Department plans to continue trapping the hornets for at least three years to resolve the problem and determine whether or not the area is infested.
The hornets pose a serious threat to honeybee populations but are not deadly to most humans unless allergic. However, the hornets’ stinger is said to be extremely painful if stung, though rarely deadly it can spit venom.
You can watch the team examining the nest below.
Florida Man Drives Eight-Wheeled Chevy Monster Truck Across the Ocean
A Florida Man has decided to drive his eight-wheeled Chevy monster truck across the ocean. That’s right, you read that correctly: he drove his truck across the ocean. For the TikTok views. And yes, it worked.
The legendary “Florida Man” has long been a favorite for news readers and writers alike, offering an entertaining potpourri of the insane, the impressive, and the grotesque, with stories covering topics including drugs, violence, alligators, and unbelievable feats of human wackiness.
In the latest chapter of the ongoing saga, one brave Florida Man decided to do what no sane man had ever considered: rather than take his monster truck to the demolition derby, he took it to a South Florida bay and sailed it alongside the yachts instead.
WhistlinDiesel can best be described as the Johnny Knoxville of American truck culture, or as he describes himself, one who does “basically everything you’ve ever thought of doing with your truck but you’d never ACTUALLY do … simply because someone says it’s impossible.”
And just like Knoxville and the MTV Jackass gang pushed the concept of extreme, physical challenges beyond the limits of basic common sense, WhistlinDiesel is willing to do anything to go viral and catch some likes. It’s a winning formula, if a bit unsafe.
With that in mind, the social media madman took his two-axle Chevy Silverado, filled its eight tires with a ridiculous amount of air, and drove it straight into the Gulf of Mexico between Longboat Key and Bradenton Beach, Florida, without any sort of propeller.
It wasn’t long before authorities intervened to cut his ludicrous stunt short. WhistlinDiesel had just barely driven into the water and smashed the throttle over the bay before he was forced to haul it out of the drink with a boat while completely surrounded by the local sheriff’s department, the Coast Guard, and the Florida Department of Natural Resources – who were quite likely peeved that someone decided to plunge his diesel truck into a protected body of water.
“Still can’t believe how smoothly this went. I woke up at 4am after 2 hours of sleep that day thinking wtf am I doing? This could either end really good or really bad. Our original plan was to set up at night in the dark and drive miles offshore to watch the sun rise but looking back we got much better reactions from the public this way.”
And good reactions he did receive, as the maniac managed to get tons of press attention and social media clout. It still remains unclear whether he faced any charges for the stunt, so it’s safe to say: Mission accomplished!
Scientists: The Human Brain And the Entire Universe Have Odd Similarities
An astrophysicist at the University of Bologna and a neurosurgeon at the University of Verona have claimed that the brain resembles the universe. The two Italian researchers came up with the galaxy-brain theory that is out of this world: The structures of the perceptible universe, they say, are astonishingly comparable to the neuronal networks of the human brain.
University of Bologna astrophysicist Franco Vazza and University of Verona neurosurgeon Alberto Feletti document the extraordinary similarities between the cosmic network of galaxies and the complex web of neurons in the human brain. The detailed study was published in the journal Frontiers in Physics showcasing the human brain has roughly 27 orders of magnitude separated in scale, while similarly, the composition of the cosmic web shows comparable levels of complexity and self-organization, according to the researchers.
The brain itself contains an estimated 69 billion neurons, while the visible universe is comprised of at least 100 billion galaxies, strung together like a mesh network. Even more intriguing both galaxies and neurons only account for about 30 percent of the total masses of the universe and brain. Further, both galaxies and neurons arrange themselves like pearls on a long string.
Beginning from the shared features of the two systems, the two researchers examined a simulation of the network of galaxies in comparison to sections of the cerebral cortex and the cerebellum. Their purpose was to inspect how matter variations propagate.
In the case of galaxies, the remaining 70 percent of mass is dark energy. The equivalent in the human brain, the pair said was water.
“We calculated the spectral density of both systems,” Vazza said in a statement about the experiment. “This is a technique often employed in cosmology for studying the spatial distribution of galaxies. Our analysis showed that the distribution of the fluctuation within the cerebellum neuronal network on a scale from 1 micrometer to 0.1 millimeters follows the same progression of the distribution of matter in the cosmic web,” he added, “but, of course, on a larger scale that goes from 5 million to 500 million light-years.”
The amount of interwoven connections originating from each node also were strangely alike sparking further interest to the researchers.
“Once again, structural parameters have identified unexpected agreement levels,” Feletti said in the statement. “Probably, the connectivity within the two networks evolves following similar physical principles, despite the striking and obvious difference between the physical powers regulating galaxies and neurons.”
The team is anticipating that their preliminary research could lead to new analysis procedures advancing knowledge about both cosmology and neurosurgery. Which would enable scientists to better comprehend how these compositions have developed over time.
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