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n2doc

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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 39,402

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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

First global antineutrino emission map highlights Earth's energy budget


The first-ever global map of antineutrino flux, which accounts for natural and human-made sources of antineutrinos, with the latter making up less than 1 percent of the total flux. Credit: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency/AGM2015

The neutrino and its antimatter cousin, the antineutrino, are the tiniest subatomic particles known to science. These particles are byproducts of nuclear reactions within stars (including our sun), supernovae, black holes and human-made nuclear reactors. They also result from radioactive decay processes deep within the Earth, where radioactive heat and the heat left over from the planet's formation fuels plate tectonics, volcanoes and Earth's magnetic field.

Now, a team of geologists and physicists has generated the world's first global map of antineutrino emissions. The map, published online in the journal Scientific Reports on September 1, 2015, provides an important baseline image of the energy budget of Earth's interior and could help scientists monitor new and existing human-made sources of radiation. The study was led by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency with contributions from researchers at the University of Maryland, the University of Hawaii, Hawaii Pacific University and Ultralytics, LLC.

"The interior of Earth is quite difficult to see, even with modern technology. Locating the activity of antineutrinos allows us to create images that our predecessors had only dreamed of," said William McDonough, professor of geology at UMD and a co-author of the study. "This map should prove particularly useful for future studies of processes within the lower crust and mantle."

Neutrinos are notoriously difficult to study; their tiny size and lack of electrical charge enables them to pass straight through matter without reacting. At any given moment, trillions of neutrinos are passing through every structure and living thing on Earth. Luckily, antineutrinos are slightly easier to detect, through a process known as inverse beta decay. Spotting these reactions requires a huge detector the size of a small office building, housed about a mile underground to shield it from cosmic rays that could yield false positive results.

more
http://phys.org/news/2015-09-global-antineutrino-emission-highlights-earth.html

West Coast Weed Farms Are Lighting Up

As wildfires continue to ravage the West Coast, concerns emerge for the marijuana industry.
MADELEINE THOMAS

It's getting tough to be a pot farmer. The West Coast's marijuana industry, already pinched by drought and facing sharp criticism over its water use, now faces another imminent threat: fire.

Overall, more than 146,000 acres have been lost to wildfire in California. In Washington state, where recreational marijuana has been sold since last July, fires have already consumed an area the size of Rhode Island. Not surprisingly, some marijuana growers are fearful they too could see their farms go up in flames.

Weed is a lucrative industry out West: In California, medical marijuana generates some $100 million in sales tax revenue and keeps more than 100,000 people employed across the state. Washington's industry—which permits sales of both medicinal and recreational pot—has already netted close to $260 million in total sales this year and could garner more than $190 million in tax and revenue.

Some growers, like Tim McCormack, have been lucky. McCormack serves as CEO of Antoine Creek Farms, one of the largest licensed farms permitted by the state of Washington. The few thousand plants he tends comprise nearly 20,000 square feet of plant canopy. Flames from the Chelan Complex fire, one of the largest wildfires still burning across the state, were about five feet from his farm before firefighters were able to divert their course elsewhere. Had Antoine Creek Farms been caught in the Chelan Complex, McCormack estimates he would have lost several hundred thousand dollars.

more

http://www.psmag.com/nature-and-technology/weed-farms-are-lighting-up

Wednesday Toon Roundup 3- The Rest


KY





Refugees



The Issue







Stocks


Iran



Japan



Climate







Gawd


Wednesday Toon Roundup 2- Wall of Denali















Wednesday Toon Roundup 1- Monty Elephant


























Toon: This Race Won't Be A Coronation

Completely paralyzed man voluntarily moves his legs, scientists report

A 39-year-old man who had had been completely paralyzed for four years was able to voluntarily control his leg muscles and take thousands of steps in a "robotic exoskeleton" device during five days of training—and for two weeks afterward—a team of UCLA scientists reports this week.

This is the first time that a person with chronic, complete paralysis has regained enough voluntary control to actively work with a robotic device designed to enhance mobility.

In addition to the robotic device, the man was aided by a novel noninvasive spinal stimulation technique that does not require surgery. His leg movements also resulted in other health benefits, including improved cardiovascular function and muscle tone.

The new approach combines a battery-powered wearable bionic suit that enables people to move their legs in a step-like fashion, with a noninvasive procedure that the same researchers had previously used to enable five men who had been completely paralyzed to move their legs in a rhythmic motion. That earlier achievement is believed to be the first time people who are completely paralyzed have been able to relearn voluntary leg movements without surgery. (The researchers do not describe the achievement as "walking" because no one who is completely paralyzed has independently walked in the absence of the robotic device and electrical stimulation of the spinal cord.)

more

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-09-paralyzed-voluntarily-legs-scientists.html

Report: Sustained allegations of abuse of 184 children, youth in Mass. DCF care

BOSTON - A review by a state child advocacy agency of nearly 300 reports of abuse and neglect in 2014 found sustained allegations for 184 children and youth in the custody of the Department of Children and Families.

Reports from foster homes made up many of the ones that had sustained allegations, totaling 117 children and youth. Fifty-three were in group homes, or residential placement, and also in DCF custody.

There were reports on fourteen children and youth in schools, child care centers, hospitals and out-of-home settings, according to the Office of the Child Advocate.

The report is the latest – and not the last – to focus on the Department of Children and Families, an agency that is under investigation again.

Roughly 47,000 children are under the agency's supervision.

more

http://www.masslive.com/news/boston/index.ssf/2015/09/report_sustained_allegations_o.html

Ban on Banning Words


By
Scott Jaschik

WWashington State University on Monday announced that it would not allow instructors to make "blanket" bans on the use of certain words or phrases in class, even if those words and phrases offend people. Further, the university said that instructors could not punish students for use of such words or phrases.

The announcement followed a barrage of criticism of the syllabus for Women & Popular Culture, a women's studies course, that banned specific words and phrases and set out punishments for their use.

Here is the language on the syllabus:

"Gross generalizations, stereotypes and derogatory/oppressive language are not acceptable. Use of racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, classist or generally offensive language in class or submission of such material will not be tolerated. (This includes 'The Man,' 'Colored People,' 'Illegals/Illegal Aliens,' 'Tranny' and so on -- or referring to women/men as females or males.) If I see it or hear it, I will correct it in class since it can be a learning moment for many students. Repeated use of oppressive and hateful language will be handled accordingly -- including but not limited to removal from the class without attendance or participation points, failure of the assignment, and -- in extreme cases -- failure for the semester."


This summer has seen several instances in which websites of various college or university groups have featured language discouraging the use of words and phrases that many find offensive. There was much discussion in July about the "bias-free language guide" at the University of New Hampshire, but UNH never actually banned any words or phrases. One office published some recommendations for those seeking to avoid offending others, and most people at UNH didn't know that the guide existed until it was debated nationally -- and the university affirmed that there was no requirement to follow its suggestions.

In the Washington State syllabus, however, there was a specific statement that the instructor could punish any students using the banned words and phrases. And that appears to have led the university (which, as a public institution, must provide First Amendment protections) to get involved. The university statement said that it was asking all faculty members to review their policies "to ensure that students’ right to freedom of expression is protected along with a safe and productive learning environment."

more

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/09/01/washington-state-u-disavows-syllabus-ban-certain-words?utm_source=Inside+Higher+Ed&utm_campaign=2e96833874-DNU20150901&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1fcbc04421-2e96833874-198207221

Romney Is Horrified by Trump — and That’s Restarting ‘Mitt 2016’ Talk

As Donald Trump continues to dominate the Republican presidential race, frustration and panic have become high enough to make some inside the party Establishment pine for a candidate they roundly rejected as recently as January: Mitt Romney. Romney himself has become one of Trump’s most vocal detractors inside the party. “He’s someone to whom civility means a lot. The whole Trump thing really bothers him,” a close Romney adviser told me — and some Romney-ites are only too happy to talk up the prospect of their man jumping into the race if the Establishment fails to stop Trump, whose support in Iowa and New Hampshire is currently greater than Jeb Bush's, Scott Walker's, Marco Rubio's, Chris Christie's, and John Kasich's combined.

“Mitt wants to run. He never stopped wanting to run,” a senior member of his 2012 team told me. Other Romney-ites, watching this cycle’s candidates falling short, feel a sense of vindication after all the attacks they endured after Romney's failed 2012 bid. "These guys like Walker and Perry, they were big deals in their states, but you get them onto the national stage and it's a different story," a former Romney adviser told me. "It's like they were in middle school, and now they're freshmen in high school and they're getting their faces slammed in the toilets." Another former Romney adviser complained about Bush's decision not to go all-in on New Hampshire, a state a moderate must win. "Romney did 100 town halls in New Hampshire from announcement to the primary. It's madness. Bush has done only 23."

In reality, the prospect of Romney jumping back into the race at this late date remains exceedingly slim — he’s made no visible signs of reassembling his political operation. But he may be able to influence the race more indirectly from the perch he’s begun carving out for himself as party elder.

It's a role that’s surprising to many Republicans who openly mocked Romney’s loss to Obama. (In his memoir, Unintimidated, Scott Walker wrote, “Reagan did not dismiss 47 percent of the country as a bunch of moochers,” a reference to Romney’s infamous assessment of the electorate.) But Romney's rehabilitation campaign began with his starring role in last year’s documentary Mitt and continued with his charity boxing match against Evander Holyfield this spring. It turns out that Romney the noncandidate connects with the public in a way Romney the gaffe-prone plutocrat candidate never did. So much so that Romney openly flirted with a third White House run this winter. “When people were polling this stuff back in January, what was striking was not his popularity but the breadth of it,” says Stuart Stevens, Romney’s chief 2012 strategist. “Unlike a lot of candidates, his support wasn’t siloed. The non-tea-party folks liked him, and the tea-party folks liked him. It’s unique.”

more
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/09/romneys-horror-at-trump-renews-mitt-2016-talk.html

Run Mittens, Run!
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