Glow, little glowworm. Ft. Calhoun nuclear reactor turned 40 in August of 2013. Plagued by a plethora of dangerous malfunctions, it looked like it might not see 41. The nuclear pile went to operational criticality at 5:47 p.m. on August 5, 1973, making it one of the oldest plants in the world and incorporates the same antiquated design as the melted down reactor at Fukushima, Japan. Ft. Calhoun shut down in 2011. But against all odds and at a ridiculous cost of $200 million, OPPD squeezed a square peg into a round hole, patched up the reactor and plans to fire it up. The price of the patches exceeded what it cost to build in it 1973. The ancient design limits production to 57 percent less than the national average. There are a million lives within 50 miles of the plant. With such facts staring OPPD in the face, still the utility decided to restart the plant rather than decommissioning it as other US utilities are doing with aging, inefficient, risky plants. Prediction for 2014: The Ft. Calhoun saga isn’t over.

More say No to GMO. Despite the fact that two progressive states (California and Washington) failed to pass GMO labeling laws in elective referendums over the past year, watch for more jurisdictions to rule in favor of the public and against GMO corporations in 2014. Hawaiian officials recently signed laws regulating and restricting GMO seed-planting. Prediction: New research will reveal far-reaching dangers inherent with man messing with Mother Nature by manipulating genes. Laws will be passed.

Bucks become Bitcoins. Human freedom is stolen by governments misusing technology for the sake of spying. Our inalienable rights have become alien to most. The virtual currency known as bitcoin will change that and rewrite the rules. Governments control healthcare, food supplies, military might and currency. Bitcoins cannot be controlled because there is no central banking system for them. Bitcoins are the Napster of global economy. They will mutate into monetary freedom from provincial control. Learn about them. Buy now. Prediction: Bitcoins will shake up more than your pocketbook in 2014.

Man with the longest tongue. In late 2014, Sir Richard Branson, the former record exec who has more money than he knows what to do with, will strap it on and join a few intrepid travelers aboard the world’s costliest amusement park ride from somewhere in southwestern New Mexico. After years of delays and cost overruns, Branson’s vanity project known as Virgin Galactic, will toss a tiny rocket up 110 kilometers (360,000 feet) to the edge of space, carrying six passengers with ticket stubs costing $250,000 each. Ashton Kutcher, Angelina Jolie, Tom Hanks and others will get their wish: five minutes in near-space. In 2011, Branson wrote on his blog that the first flight was “so close we can almost taste it.” How close, from 2011 to 2014? That’s a long tongue, Ricky. Prediction: If all who have made deposits follow through, Rocket-jockey Branson will clear $13B. That would have provided safe drinking water wells for 1,300,000 communities in Africa.

Acupuncture sticks with it. When Heartland Healing started in The Reader back with Issue #2, there were zero licensed acupuncturists in the state of Nebraska. At the time, acupuncture was just any kind of prick with a pin. Now, licensed acupuncture in our state is a reality and thousands benefit. Practice is still somewhat restrictive here compared to 30-plus other states. Proponents have petitioned for some changes though. Prediction: Advances in licensing regulations will provide greater access to acupuncture and proper Traditional Chinese medicine in Nebraska in 2014.

Detrimental supplements. It’s just plain ridiculous the number of vitamin, mineral and supplement bottles lining the shelves of stores these days. So-called dietary supplements are out of control. Entire industries are based on them. Herbalife stock is projected to be one of the hottest of 2014. An estimated 55,000 different dietary supplements are sold in America pulling in $32 billion yearly. It’s simply my opinion, but we could do without 99 percent of them. While there is no doubt that herbals and supplements are far less dangerous than prescription drugs, which account for hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths a year, too many people believe supplements are totally safe. What’s lacking is common sense. Grab a handful of hemlock on a hike and munch your way to a painful demise. Overdo it on vitamin A and watch your skin turn yellow as your liver fails. Prediction: In 2014, lawmakers will rein in the rogue supplement industry resulting in overzealous regulation of needed natural medications.

Drugs still a drag. 1700 prescription and OTC drugs were recalled in 2009. They were either deadly, useless or both. There’s no reason to believe the trend won’t continue. Big Pharma is Big Business and drugs are rushed to market with little FDA oversight, not to save people but to make money. That part won’t change. Just say no. Prediction: The number of FDA recalls will reach record numbers in 2014.

2014 will be a very good year.

Be well.

Heartland Healing is a New Age polemic describing alternatives to conventional methods of healing the body, mind and planet. It is provided as information and entertainment, certainly not medical advice. It is not an endorsement of any particular therapy, either by the writer or The Reader. Visit for more information.

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