Robots with a Sense of Touch? Scientists Create Flexible E-skin for "soft machines" - Activist Post


By Study Finds

Are humans one step closer to giving robots a true sense of touch? Scientists are developing electronic skin that they hope will assist with surgical procedures and even aid people suffering from mobility issues. The creation of stretchable e-skin also gives “soft robots” a level of physical self-awareness similar to people and animals for the first time. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh say the technology could lead to further breakthroughs in soft robotics by enabling devices to precisely detect their movements in the most sensitive of surroundings.

Soft robots – which scientists build using pliable materials rather than metal or hard plastics – with e-skin could have a range of applications, including surgical tools, prosthetics, and devices which explore hazardous environments while remaining highly flexible. Without e-skin, it is hard for soft robots to understand their own motion and shape, and how these qualities interact with their environment. That poses a major challenge in developing the sensing systems that are essential for robots to carry out precise tasks and interact safely with people.

The Scottish team is the first to develop technology that overcomes this problem and provides soft robots with highly accurate, real-time sensing abilities. Researchers created a flexible e-skin that’s only one millimeter thick, made of a thin layer of silicone embedded with wires and sensitive detectors.

A single section of flexible e-skin (credit: Yunjie Yang)


Using the e-skin in combination with artificial intelligence, researchers were able to give soft robots the ability to rapidly sense their motions and deformations with millimeter accuracy in three dimensions, in real time. The team tested their e-skin by fitting it to a soft robot arm and found the technology was able to sense a range of complex bending, stretching, and twisting movements across every part of the device.

The study, published in the journal Nature Machine Intelligence, also involved the University of Hong Kong.

Activist Post is Google-Free Support us for just $1 per month at Patreon or SubscribeStar

“The perceptive senses endowed to robotic devices by this new technology are similar to those of people and animals. This new level of physical self-awareness represents a step change in the sensing capabilities of soft robots,” says Dr. Yunjie Yang from Edinburgh’s School of Engineering in a university release.

“The flexibility of the technology we have developed means it could be applied to various soft robots to enable them to accurately perceive their own shape and movements. Ultimately, that means we are now closer to making some of the most exciting ideas in soft robotics a reality,” adds study co-leader Dr. Francesco Giorgio-Serchi, also of the School of Engineering.

South West News Service writer Sarah Ward contributed to this report.

Source: Study Finds

Study Finds sets out to find new research that speaks to mass audiences — without all the scientific jargon. Study Finds has been writing and publishing articles since 2016.


View Study’s article archive

Image: sections of the team’s flexible e-skin fitted to a soft robot arm (credit: Yunjie Yang)

Or support us at SubscribeStarDonate cryptocurrency HERE

Subscribe to Activist Post for truth, peace, and freedom news. Follow us on SoMee, Telegram, HIVE, Flote, Minds, MeWe, Twitter, Gab, What Really Happened and GETTR.

Provide, Protect and Profit from what’s coming! Get a free issue of Counter Markets today.


By Sophia Cope and Adam Schwartz

In a partial victory for police accountability, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that the First Amendment protects a passenger who livestreams the traffic stop of the car he is traveling in. EFF filed an amicus brief in Sharpe v. Winterville in 2021 in support of the plaintiff. Unfortunately, the Fourth Circuit’s opinion is not a total win for First Amendment rights because the court curtailed the plaintiff’s ability to hold the individual officers accountable.

After police officers tased, choked, and severely beat Dijon Sharpe during a traffic stop, he decided that next time he was in a car that was pulled over, he would livestream and record the encounter. Ten months later, in October 2018, Sharpe, sitting in the passenger seat of a stopped car, took out his phone and started livestreaming on Facebook.

When an officer saw that he was livestreaming, he grabbed Sharpe and tried to take the phone. The officer explained that Sharpe was free to record the encounter, but he could not livestream due to supposed concerns about officers’ real-time safety (a policy later ascribed to the city of Winterville, NC). Sharpe sued to vindicate his First Amendment rights.

The Good News: The Fourth Circuit Held That the First Amendment Protects the Right to Livestream and Record Police Officers

It’s great that the Fourth Circuit held that individuals have a First Amendment right to livestream their own traffic stops. The court rightly acknowledged, “Creating and disseminating information is protected speech under the First Amendment.”

In so holding, the Fourth Circuit stated “we agree” with other courts that have recognized that the First Amendment “cover[s] recording—particularly when the information involves matters of public interest like police encounters … Recording police encounters creates information that contributes to discussion about governmental affairs. So too does livestreaming disseminate that information, often creating its own record.”

This is consistent with several other circuits that have held that the First Amendment protects the recording of on-duty police: First, Third, Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh. The Fourth Circuit (covering Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina) has rightly expanded the First Amendment rights of individuals living within its jurisdiction.

The Fourth Circuit Should Have Applied Strict Scrutiny

Although the Fourth Circuit held that a First Amendment right exists to livestream traffic stops, it arrived at that conclusion using a vague scrutiny analysis that generally considered the governmental interest in officer safety and how “tailored” the prohibition on livestreaming is to that interest.

The court declined to decide whether prohibiting livestreaming is a content-based restriction, requiring strict scrutiny—the highest standard of First Amendment analysis, under which most governmental speech restrictions are struck down—or is a content-neutral restriction requiring intermediate scrutiny, a less rigorous standard of review.

Activist Post is Google-Free Support us for just $1 per month at Patreon or SubscribeStar

We believe that strict scrutiny should apply because prohibiting livestreaming (or recording) police encounters is based on content—the actions of police officers specifically. The court should have created a high bar for the government here by holding that strict scrutiny is the appropriate standard of review.

This is important because this case is only at the pleading stage—that is, Sharpe’s allegations were considered, but no evidence has yet been proffered by either side. When this case goes back to the district court, it’s possible that the city will provide compelling evidence that concerns around real-time officer safety are significant in the context of livestreaming. The defendants argue that “livestreaming a traffic stop endangers officers because viewers can locate the officers and intervene in the encounter.” As the Fourth Circuit stated, “This officer-safety interest might be enough to sustain the policy. But on this record we cannot yet tell.” If the Fourth Circuit had explicitly held that the more rigorous standard of strict scrutiny applies, it would have made it more likely that Sharpe will prevail on his First Amendment claim in the district court.

The upside is that the Fourth Circuit held that Sharpe’s First Amendment claim survives regardless of whether the prohibition on livestreaming traffic stops is content-based or content-neutral—meaning that the government’s interest in officer safety is still a weak one even under a lower, more deferential (to the government) standard of review.

We agree that the city’s attempt to evade liability should fail under any standard of review. While officer safety is important, livestreaming police does not endanger officer safety. Police have long been trained to manage unfolding events that are subject to live media coverage, including political protests and traffic chases. If an officer has individualized suspicion that a particular motorist is using their device to summon an accomplice to undermine the officer’s control of the scene, then the officer might seize the device, whether the motorist is communicating by text message or livestream. But livestreaming is not per se dangerous, and First Amendment rights do not yield to speculative concerns.

“Controversial” Doctrines Thwart the Vindication of Constitutional Rights

A very disappointing aspect of the case is that the Fourth Circuit thwarted Sharpe’s ability to hold the individual officers accountable. And Sharpe’s ability to hold the city of Winterville accountable for the officers’ First Amendment violation isn’t guaranteed.

Qualified Immunity Strikes Again

The Fourth Circuit held that qualified immunity bars Sharpe from obtaining monetary compensation (“damages”) directly from the officers for the constitutional violation, finding that it was not “clearly established” at the time of the traffic stop that prohibiting Sharpe from livestreaming violated the First Amendment.

Notwithstanding seven other circuits generally protecting the right to record the police, the court stated that there was no controlling or persuasive authority that held “with specificity” that the First Amendment protects livestreaming of one’s own traffic stop.

EFF opposes qualified immunity, and there’s a growing movement to overrule the judicially created doctrine that allows government officials to avoid accountability for constitutional violations.

Municipal Accountability Is Not Guaranteed

Sharpe also seeks to hold the city of Winterville responsible for the actions of its employee police officers. Although the Fourth Circuit held that Sharpe’s First Amendment claim against the city survives and that the case must go back to the district court, it’s not guaranteed that Sharpe will prevail against the city.

Unfortunately, to require a local government to pay damages, it’s not enough that an on-duty local government employee violated an individual’s constitutional rights. According to another judicially created doctrine, municipalities can’t be held vicariously liable for the constitutional violations of their employees. To hold a government entity responsible, an employee’s constitutional violation must have been pursuant to an official municipal “policy or custom,” according to the U.S. Supreme Court in a wrongly-decided case called Monell v. Department of Social Services of the City of New York (1978).

Thus, Sharpe must provide evidence, when the case goes back to the district court, that the officers interfered with the livestreaming of his own traffic stop pursuant to an official police department—and by extension, city—policy.

The Fourth Circuit found Sharpe’s allegation of such a policy plausible, stating, “It is a reasonable inference that absent a policy the two officers would not have taken the same course.” But this remains to be established in the trial court.

The Fourth Circuit rightly acknowledged the frustration that many litigants feel when seeking justice for their constitutional rights being violated:

Plaintiffs seeking redress … for a violation of their constitutional rights must walk through a narrow gate. The doctrines of qualified immunity and Monell liability for local governments substantially diminish their chances. Both doctrines are controversial. They have been criticized for being atextual, ahistorical, and driven by policy considerations. But they are also binding.

We need new legislation both to end qualified immunity, which wrongly protects law-breaking officers, and to end municipal immunity, which wrongly protects the cities that employ them. When police violate digital rights and other human rights, the victims must be made whole with damages, payable by both the officers and the city. This will incentivize officers to respect the Constitution and incentivize cities to ensure that they do so. And this will ensure that courts continue to develop constitutional law that meets the new challenges posed by emergent technologies.

Source: EFF

Or support us at SubscribeStarDonate cryptocurrency HERE

Subscribe to Activist Post for truth, peace, and freedom news. Follow us on SoMee, Telegram, HIVE, Flote, Minds, MeWe, Twitter, Gab, What Really Happened and GETTR.

Provide, Protect and Profit from what’s coming! Get a free issue of Counter Markets today.


By B.N. Frank

Over the years, numerous reports and studies have concluded that social media use can and does harm children and teens. In fact, last month, a study revealed that social media use is “reprogramming children’s brains”. Of course, this may not have come as a surprise to parents who have been watching it happen in their own homes. The results of this new study may not surprise anyone else either.


Cutting social media use in half ‘significantly’ improves teenagers’ body image

WASHINGTON — Ditching social media can “significantly” improve a teenager’s body image, a new study explains. Researchers working with the American Psychological Association say both teens and young adults feel far better about their weight and looks when they cut their screen time in half for just three weeks. Regardless of gender, the team says the rapid intervention brings significant improvements in distressed youth who excessively scroll through their mobile devices.

Apps and social media platforms are home to more and more fashion and fitness influencers, pushing vulnerable kids to internalize often-unattainable beauty ideals. Already, adolescents are more likely to struggle with self-esteem, mental illness, and eating disorders.

As a result, a team from the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute recommends time off of social apps as one treatment for body-image issues. Scientists report young people are spending six to eight hours a day looking at screens, on average.

“Adolescence is a vulnerable period for the development of body image issues, eating disorders and mental illness,” says lead author Gary Goldfield, PhD, of Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, in a media release.

“Youth are spending, on average, between six to eight hours per day on screens, much of it on social media. Social media can expose users to hundreds or even thousands of images and photos every day, including those of celebrities and fashion or fitness models, which we know leads to an internalization of beauty ideals that are unattainable for almost everyone, resulting in greater dissatisfaction with body weight and shape.”

Cutting social media use to an hour a day leads to better mental health

Researchers studied 220 undergraduate students between 17 and 25 years-old, selecting those who use their phones at least two hours a day, and who also show symptoms of depression or anxiety. Females made up 76 percent of the group, with 23 percent being men and one percent identifying as “other.”

Participants ranked how they felt about their looks and body on a five-point scale. Each person gave answers ranging from “never” to “always” to questions such as “I’m pretty happy about the way I look” and “I am satisfied with my weight.”

For the first week, they used social media as usual. Every day they took a screenshot of a screentime tracker counting their hours in the background. After the first week, half the group had to halve their social media use to no more than 60 minutes a day. For the next three weeks, those who cut their social media use reduced to an average of 78 minutes a day.

Meanwhile, the control group averaged 188 minutes spent chatting and scrolling on social apps each. Those avoiding screens reaped the benefits, but nothing changed for the control group.

The scientists want to follow up on this study, published in the journal Psychology of Popular Media, with a large investigation into whether people can reduce their social media use for a sustained period of time, and if this can bring even more psychological rewards.

“Our brief, four-week intervention using screentime trackers showed that reducing social media use yielded significant improvements in appearance and weight esteem in distressed youth with heavy social media use,” Goldfield continues.

“Reducing social media use is a feasible method of producing a short-term positive effect on body image among a vulnerable population of users and should be evaluated as a potential component in the treatment of body-image-related disturbances.”

South West News Service writer Pol Allingham contributed to this report.

Study Finds sets out to find new research that speaks to mass audiences — without all the scientific jargon. Study Finds has been writing and publishing articles since 2016.

View Study’s article archive

Activist Post is Google-Free Support us for just $1 per month at Patreon or SubscribeStar

In the U.S. lawsuits have been filed and legislation has been introduced to address issues being caused and/or increased by kids’ excessive social media use (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) – including a lawsuit filed by a school district. According to a December 11, 2022 CBS 60 Minutes segment, 150+ lawsuits filed against social media companies are scheduled this year.


Activist Post reports regularly about social media, risks associated with excessive screen use and exposure, and unsafe technologies. For more information, visit our archives.

Top image: Pixabay

Or support us at SubscribeStarDonate cryptocurrency HERE

Subscribe to Activist Post for truth, peace, and freedom news. Follow us on SoMee, Telegram, HIVE, Flote, Minds, MeWe, Twitter, Gab, What Really Happened and GETTR.

Provide, Protect and Profit from what’s coming! Get a free issue of Counter Markets today.


By The Corbett Report

The freedom convoy commission has delivered its verdict: dissent is now illegal whenever the government declares it so!

Find out about the commission’s final report and what it means for Canadians and freedom lovers the world over on this important edition of The Corbett Report.

Could Biden Try To HIDE This Video From The Internet? Possible Changes To US Dollar


Heart Surgeon Begs Americans: "Stop Putting This In Your Coffee"


Can you take 2 minutes to respond to Scalise’s Majority Leader Survey?



Sponsored Ad

Podcast: Play in new window | Download | Embed

Watch on Archive / BitChute / Odysee / Rokfin / Rumble / Substack / Download the mp4

For those with limited bandwidth, CLICK HERE to download a smaller, lower file size version of this episode.

For those interested in audio quality, CLICK HERE for the highest-quality version of this episode (WARNING: very large download).


Time Reference:

Source: The Corbett Report

Visit James Corbett at Subscribe to his channel on BitChute.


Do You Want Donald Trump To Be President Again? (Free Gift For All Who Answer)





Which candidate do you trust more to guide the FDA in supporting natural stem cell treatments?

Joe Biden

Donald Trump

Ron DeSantis

I'm not sure

Heart Surgeon Begs Americans: "Stop Putting This In Your Coffee"


Is Biden Trying To HIDE This Video From The Internet? Possible Massive Changes To US Dollar


Sponsored Ad

Free ebook How To Survive the Job Automation Apocalypse

Free ebook How To Get Started with Bitcoin: Quick and Easy Beginner’s Guide

Activist Post Daily Newsletter

Subscription is FREE and CONFIDENTIAL Free Report: How To Survive The Job Automation Apocalypse with subscription


By B.N. Frank

In 2019, telecom executives gave U.S. congressional testimony that they had NO independent scientific evidence that 5G exposure is safe, though warnings about deployment and exposure started before then. Since 2017, doctors and scientists have been asking for moratoriums on Earth and in space due to biological and environmental health risks (see 1, 2, 3, 4), and the majority of scientists worldwide oppose deployment. Some researchers have also warned that 5G activation may be contributing to COVID-19 infections as well as hundreds of thousands if not millions of bird deaths.

Additionally, since 2018 there have been reports of people and animals experiencing symptoms and illnesses after 5G was activated (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5), including one last month and another one this month. Of course, countless others may be experiencing exposure-related symptoms and illnesses as well.

From Children’s Health Defense:

5G Towers Can Make Healthy People Sick, Two Case Reports Show

A new case report on two previously healthy men who developed “microwave syndrome” symptoms after a 5G cell tower was installed on the roof of their office, and a similar report published last month, shows that non-ionizing 5G radiation can cause health problems in people with no prior history of electromagnetic sensitivity.

A new case report shows that two previously healthy men rapidly developed typical “microwave syndrome” symptoms shortly after a 5G cell tower was installed on the roof of their office.

According to the report, published Feb. 4 in the Annals of Clinical Case Reports, the men experienced headaches, joint pain, tinnitus, abnormal fatigue, sleep disturbances, burning skin, anxiety and trouble concentrating.

The findings match the results of a similar case report published last month in the same journal — that appeared earlier in the Swedish journal Medicinsk Access — showing a previously healthy man and woman developed similar microwave syndrome symptoms soon after a 5G tower was installed on top of their apartment.

In first study of its kind, Swedish researchers found #5G radiation causes typical symptoms indicative of “microwave syndrome.” Study also confirmed that non-ionizing radiation — well below levels allowed by authorities — can cause health problems.

— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) March 13, 2022

Both reports show that non-ionizing radiation from 5G — well below levels allowed by authorities — can cause health problems in individuals who had no prior history of electromagnetic sensitivity (EMS).

The two reports appear to be the first studies in the world on the health effects in humans from exposure to 5G, according to the authors.

The case reports’ lead author, Dr. Lennart Hardell — a world-leading scientist on cancer risks from radiation — said the two reports are “groundbreaking” because they serve as the “first warning of a health hazard.”

“This may be the case for 5G and these results must be taken seriously,” he said.

“People shouldn’t have to leave their homes because of 5G,” said Hardell, an oncologist and epidemiologist with the Environment and Cancer Research Foundation who has authored more than 100 papers on non-ionizing radiation.

Just the ‘tip of the iceberg’

Hardell told The Defender the two case studies are likely just “the tip of the iceberg” when it comes to 5G’s impact on people’s health.

Because research on the health effects of exposure to 5G is lacking, Hardell said, we don’t know how many people get sick from 5G.

Mona Nilsson — managing director of the Swedish Radiation Protection Foundation and co-author of the case reports — said it was a “great scandal” that “5G has been rolled out for several years now in Sweden and in the U.S. without any study at all being performed about the health effects.”


The Invisible Rainbow: A History of Electricity and Life

by Arthur Firstenberg

“These two studies show that 5G is very dangerous to health and that the scientists and doctors who have been warning for years of serious consequences for human health due to a predicted massive increase in microwave radiation … have been right in their assessments,” Nilsson added.

5G impacts many organ systems

In the January case report, telecommunication companies replaced a 3G/4G cell tower with a 5G tower on the roof directly above the apartment of a healthy man and woman, ages 63 and 62.

Days after the 5G tower was installed, the two residents began developing acute physical symptoms, causing them to move out.

The residents’ physical symptoms quickly decreased or disappeared when they moved to a building with much lower radiation levels.

Measurements taken in their apartment showed extremely high levels of non-ionizing radiation throughout the apartment. The maximum value measured was more than 2,500,000 microwatts — the highest maximum value that the meter used can measure — so the actual radiation may have been even higher, Hardell and Nilsson said.

The report’s findings contradict assurances from the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority that the amount of radiation a cell tower emits is relatively below, behind or above the tower, she added.

The February report discussed the experiences of two men, ages 57 and 42, when a 3G/4G tower was replaced with 5G equipment on the roof of their office where they worked as information technology and management consultants and sometimes slept.

The men displayed symptoms shortly after the 5G tower was installed and chose to relocate — at which point their symptoms lessened or disappeared.

Hardell and Nilsson measured a maximum of 1,180,000 microwatts (μW/m2) in the men’s office.

Both case reports utilized the classic “provocation test” design which is “extremely important in medicine,” Hardell said because it clearly shows the symptoms that occur when a person is exposed to something — such as an allergen or drug or new radiation level.

Commenting on the findings, Hardell said he found it interesting that 5G appears to act as a “fundamental biological mechanism” because it affects “so many organ systems.”

“How is it explained that you get cognitive effects, heart palpitations, sleep problems and so on?” he said.

The individuals in the case reports had no history of EMS, so they were not “primed” to suspect 5G might be causing their illness, Hardell added.

Reports pave way for accurate classification of 5G health risks

This type of research is pivotal in getting the ball rolling toward the appropriate regulatory classification of 5G as posing human health risks, according to Hardell.

In 2011, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) as “possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B).” And in January, the IARC announced it will “coordinate production of a risk assessment on 5G exposures” scheduled to be released in 2025.

Meanwhile, Hardell and Nilsson are already conducting their third case report on the health effects of 5G on humans and hope to publish it next month.

While their first two reports focused on the health effects associated with living underneath a 5G tower, they told the Defender their next case report will document the health effects experienced by individuals living across the street from a tower.

“Those are also very alarming [situations],” Nilsson said.

Nilsson said they have already obtained a measurement of 2.5 million microwatts — “which is the top level that our meter can measure” — at 60 meters away from the tower, so people living within that range of a tower may be affected by radiation.

Hardell emphasized that case reports can have a big impact over time. “It [5G] reminds me of my studies on phenoxy herbicides and dioxins — all started with case reports,” Hardell said.

He called the chemical herbicides “Agent Orange stuff,” referring to how U.S. military forces used them during the Vietnam War to eliminate forest cover and crops for North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops.

In the 1970s, Hardell said he noticed a few of his patients who worked in the Swedish forestry industry — tasked with spraying hardwoods with these herbicides — developed a rare form of cancer called soft tissue sarcoma.

So he wrote and published a case report on it, which led to additional studies.

“There was very huge resistance from the forestry, industrial, agricultural [sectors],” he said.

Yet 20 years later, the IARC classified these types of dioxins as “carcinogenic to humans (Group 1),” Hardell said.

Hardell also said his case studies were used by the U.S. government to grant compensation to Vietnam War veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange.

RF-EMF guidelines are industry-friendly, not based on science

The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) is a private non-governmental organization registered in Munich, Germany, that “managed to get collaborative status” with the World Health Organization to “harmonize the RF-radiation guidelines all over the world,” Hardell said in a 2021 review article.

According to Hardell, ICNIRP appoints its own members and is closed to transparency.

ICNIRP has published only three articles with guidelines on RF-EMF exposure, he said.

“Only thermal (heating) effects from RF radiation are recognized, thereby excluding all studies showing harmful effects at lower non-thermal intensities,” Hardell said.

ICNIRP guidelines are set to allow very high exposure levels so that the deployment of this technology is not hampered, he said, adding that they were favored by industry while disadvantaging human health and the environment.

“In fact,” Hardell added, “the ICNIRP guidelines have never been challenged by industry in peer-reviewed articles, which must be taken as a green card for acceptance by industry.”

In 2020, ICNIRP vice chairman Eric van Rongen, Ph.D., said 5G is safe for humans as long ICNIRP limit levels are not exceeded.

Van Rongen also said ICNRIP’s guidelines about the “safety of 5G” were “developed after a thorough review of all relevant scientific literature.”

However, Nilsson said the ICNIRP guidelines were developed by taking the average of RF levels over 6 minutes, which obfuscates the actual danger because 5G towers can emit pulsing signals.

Prior research has shown additional risk from pulsated radiation, Nilsson said.

She said that according to the authors of a 1971 review of EMF scientific studies done up until that time, researchers in the USSR, the U.S. and Czechoslovakia independently concluded that pulsed-wave radiation can cause greater biological effects in animals — including harm to the organs and death — than the same frequency when it is not pulsated.

Nilsson said it was unscientific of van Rongen to claim that studies have proven the safety of 5G regarding human health.

“Eric van Rongen will not be able to refer to any such studies because they simply do not exist!” Nilsson said.

Activist Post is Google-Free Support us for just $1 per month at Patreon or SubscribeStar


Activist Post reports regularly about 5G and other unsafe technologies. For more information, visit our archives and the following websites:


The U.S. has been tracking train derailments since 1975, and since then, we’ve averaged about 1704 derailments per year. Most of these aren’t disasters, just annoyances that spill coal, grain, or gravel; and tie up traffic for a while.

But the Ohio derailment may wind up causing long-term damage on the scale of Chernobyl; and since then, people have been paying more attention to derailments in the news.

2023 Derailments

Let’s take a quick look at what’s happened so far this year:

January 9: In Lake City, South Carolina, a train derailed after striking a car that had been parked on the tracks. The engineer tried to stop but was unable to. However, no one was in the car, so no injuries were reported.

January 19: Ninety-eight cars derailed near Trinway, Ohio. Only one car out of the 98 was loaded, and no injuries were reported. However, no causes have been reported yet.

January 21: Multiple cars derail near Loris, South Carolina, spilling gravel and closing roads. No injuries were reported.

February 3: A wheel bearing overheated, causing cars to derail in East Palestine, Ohio. Five of those cars were carrying vinyl chloride, and one of those cars began to overheat, leading authorities to fear an explosion. In response, they lit the spilled chemicals on fire, poisoning the surrounding area.

February 4: One of the trains on Philadelphia’s Septa system derailed because of a cracked rail; the train was able to safely stop and unload its passengers. No injuries were reported.


Be Ready for Anything: How to Survive Tornadoes, Earthquakes, Pandemics, Mass Shootings, Nuclear Disasters, and Other Life-Threatening Events by Daisy Luther

February 13: Twenty-one freight cars derailed near Splendora, Texas, after a truck drove onto the tracks. Several hundred gallons of diesel fuel were spilled, but no other chemicals being transported leaked. The truck driver was killed.

February 13: A train derailed near Enoree, South Carolina. No injuries have been reported, but the investigation is still ongoing.

February 16: A train derailed near Belle Ville, Michigan. One car containing liquid chlorine derailed, but the tank stayed intact. No injuries, or potential causes, have been reported.

February 19: In Delphos, Ohio, a train derailed, knocking over poles and shutting down several intersections. No hazardous materials were being transported, and no injuries were reported.

This list is by no means exhaustive; it’s just a sample of what’s happened so far in 2023.

What do we make of these accidents?

Is the number of crashes increasing? Who’s to blame? Are the crashes the result of an evil plot, or corporate cost-cutting, or is there some as-of-yet-unmentioned factor here? How concerned should we be regarding future incidents?

Rail executives point to the number of incidents per year holding constant over time, but if you look at how much bigger trains have gotten over the past ten years, the rate of accidents per track mile has increased by about 10%. So yes, safety incidents are increasing.

The rail company responsible for the accident in Ohio, Norfolk Southern, saw an increase of 82% in safety incidents per track mile since 2013. They’ve shed about one-third of their workforce in the past ten years, keeping costs down and investors happy. But the people living in the communities their trains go through? Not so much.

Personally, I wouldn’t rule out some kind of plot to mess with the American infrastructure, but there’s not much evidence of that yet. A peculiar but little-mentioned detail did occur in Ohio. A blasting cap was found about 1.4 miles away from the crash. The landowner, Jerry Corbin, found his yard full of ash along with the blasting cap; the EPA didn’t know what to make of it. They took samples and haven’t told him anything else. We don’t have answers there.

But we do have a great deal of evidence that points toward corporate cost-cutting.

Who remembers those rail workers threatening to strike a few months ago, just before the holidays?

Most news coverage about the strike focused on Biden signing a law making it illegal for rail workers to strike. Media claimed that in exchange for declaring strikes illegal, rail workers were getting a big pay raise.

However, listening to a roundtable interview with rail workers themselves, the picture gets a little more complicated. Their complaints had less to do with pay and more to do with working conditions. They may have gotten a pay raise, but not the sick days they had actually been looking for.

Workers discussed the toxic relationship between labor and management, and the increased suicide rate due to the stressful nature of the job. They talked about the huge push toward replacing human workers with technology that just isn’t ready yet. Also mentioned was how trains that used to have five people manning them now have two. The trains keep getting longer, which means they are physically more difficult to monitor. 70% of the union members are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They’re demoralized and exhausted.

One of the controversial issues within the rail industry has been the implementation of Precision Scheduled Railroading, which claims to streamline service while also cutting costs Rail companies have been laying off workers since 2015 , even though the amount of goods transported by rail continued to increase through 2018.

PSR helps rail companies cut overhead costs, but it allows for less time to physically inspect cars. Rail companies point to advanced monitoring technology within the cars; union members respond that the excessive length of some trains makes it difficult to hear alarms going off, and difficult to communicate with their coworkers. The best monitoring tech in the world doesn’t mean anything if you physically can’t get to the problem area in time.

And the train that derailed in Ohio was huge. At 150 cars, it was nearly two-miles long. As pointed out by Senators Marco Rubio and J.D. Vance in their letter to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, this massive train was manned by only one engineer, one conductor, and one conductor-in-training

I’m amazed that two Republican senators are complaining about corporate cost-cutting, though questions definitely need to be asked here. But it’s more evidence that times are changing.

There’s one other factor in some industrial accidents.

And I think there may be another factor at play, another change Americans will have to deal with in the upcoming years. It caught my eye in the report, not of a train derailment, but of a truck accident in Arizona.

On February 14, a truck carrying nitric acid drifted off I-10 in Arizona. The vehicle crashed and the driver was found dead in the cab. No cause of death has been confirmed, though officials said it didn’t look like he had been speeding, and there was no evidence of substance abuse. This 54-year-old truck driver seemingly just died.

Where else have we heard about people dying suddenly? It seems to happen more frequently than it did five years ago. . .

Anything that impacts workers’ health is going to impact the safety of those around them. This was why, pre-Covid, airline pilots weren’t allowed to take Emergency Use Authorized substances. Pilots’ jobs were considered too sensitive to risk some kind of unknown negative reaction that could potentially occur with relatively untested substances. Anyone transporting hazardous substances should likewise have their health carefully safeguarded. But now, the powers that be don’t really seem to care.

Rail workers predicted this. Nobody listened.

The rail workers in the above-mentioned roundtable predicted an increase in hazardous material spills back in December 2022. Career rail worker Matthew Parker stated, “… a major derailment with hazmat and stuff being released in the community. How that situation gets mitigated depends on the professionalism of each and every one of us who are out there working on the railroad…And what we just got shown by this administration and Congress and everybody else is that they don’t really value us.”

I agree with Mr. Parker; I don’t think the people in power value anything other than their own lifestyles. These people don’t live near train tracks, interstates, or industrial facilities; they don’t care about upticks in accidents and the communities they impact.

The government response has been less than inspiring.

I have to admit, while I do live near train tracks and industrial facilities, I’m less scared of the facilities themselves than of the government’s response in case of an incident.

The photos of what’s happened in Ohio are absolutely shocking. That toxic plume could be seen from space. And yet FEMA turned down requests for federal help for weeks. Officials refuse to call it a disaster.

In case we needed any more reason to distrust anyone trotting out The Science, (I say this as someone with a science degree), last week Ohio Governor DeWine announced, “The science says East Palestine is safe.”

Seriously?? Watch J.D. Vance’s video of one of the creeks in East Palestine. It’s so gross. The EPA says the air and water here are safe? Okay, you take a drink first, EPA.

I find this particularly offensive because the people calling the shots about air and water safety are part of the professional class that won’t let their own children consume high fructose corn syrup or Red 40. But if it’s a low-income community, anything goes. I didn’t have a ton of trust in the so-called expert class anyway. The situation in Ohio has only made me more cynical.

I am especially sympathetic toward Jerry Corbin, the man who found the blasting cap in his yard. He’s a longtime gardener and wants answers from the EPA about whether or not he can safely eat his own produce. Aren’t we all supposed to be eating local organic stuff? Why is the government not giving this man answers so he can safely do that?

Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s a political fix to this situation. I agree with the rail workers; I think there has been enough structural cost-cutting that we are going to start seeing more accidents across industries. There was an explosion at a factory in Bedford, Ohio just this week though as of right now officials haven’t determined a cause.

Other factors

The younger generation of skilled, trained maintenance workers simply isn’t there. This is a problem across industries, one that can’t be fixed overnight or even over an election cycle. There has been a push to get younger generations into high-tech jobs, assuming our economy will be completely different, when in reality we’re just not there yet. All kinds of skilled maintenance workers are still going to be needed for a while. But there just hasn’t been enough nurturing of relatively younger people in those fields to keep Americans in the lifestyle to which we’ve been accustomed.

The giant medical experiment in which the majority of Americans have been forced to participate adds a chaotic element to all of this; I see no reason to think anything will improve, any time soon.

All these incidents point to what Fabian called Thirdworldization. Our infrastructure is falling apart, though our political class is mostly insulated from its effects, and therefore unmotivated to make any significant changes.

I think it’s worth reading Fabian’s original article, if you haven’t already, or revisiting it if you have. Deteriorating infrastructure is something we have very limited control over; Fabian’s article may help you organize your thoughts about what you can control in this case of a slow-burning SHTF scenario.

What are your thoughts on the derailment?

It’s also important to stay positive even as the lifestyle most of us are used to falls apart. If you’re in a position to help others, do it. You’ll be helping them, but also yourself. Nurture your friend and family relationships. Find sources of joy and fulfillment that don’t depend on a cushy lifestyle. Regardless of what happens in your area, you’ll be happier in the long run.

The derailment in Ohio has brought attention to our crumbling infrastructure, safety shortcuts, and corporate greed that puts lives and the environment at risk.

What are your thoughts about the derailment in Ohio? Do you have any theories? What do you believe is causing all the accidents? Are you making any changes to keep yourself safe?

Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Marie Hawthorne is a lover of novels and cultivator of superb apple pie recipes. Marie spends her free time writing about the world around her.

Source: The Organic Prepper

Or support us at SubscribeStarDonate cryptocurrency HERE

Subscribe to Activist Post for truth, peace, and freedom news. Follow us on SoMee, Telegram, HIVE, Flote, Minds, MeWe, Twitter, Gab, What Really Happened and GETTR.

Provide, Protect and Profit from what’s coming! Get a free issue of Counter Markets today.