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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

U.S. Commander in Afghanistan Apologizes for Bombing of Hospital

MARCH 22, 2016

KABUL, Afghanistan — The new commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan apologized on Tuesday to the victims of the United States’ bombing of a hospital in the northern city of Kunduz last year that killed 42 people.

The commander, Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr., accompanied by his wife, Norine, and the Afghan ministers of defense and the interior, traveled to Kunduz to meet with local officials and the families of victims of the attack on the Doctors Without Borders hospital on Oct. 3. His apology, which went beyond what his predecessor who oversaw the attack had said, came days after a dozen military personnel were disciplined by the Pentagon.

“As commander, I wanted to come to Kunduz personally and stand before the families and the people of Kunduz to deeply apologize for the events which destroyed the hospital and caused the deaths of staff, patients and family members,” said General Nicholson, who took charge of the forces in Afghanistan this month. “I grieve with you for your loss and suffering, and humbly and respectfully ask for your forgiveness.”

Local officials in Kunduz said they had accepted the general’s apology, but it was unlikely to change the position of Doctors Without Borders, which has demanded an independent inquiry led by the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission.



Radio Attack Lets Hackers Steal 24 Different Car Models

FOR YEARS, CAR owners with keyless entry systems have reported thieves approaching their vehicles with mysterious devices and effortlessly opening them in seconds. After having his Prius burgled repeatedly outside his Los Angeles home, the New York Times‘ former tech columnist Nick Bilton came to the conclusion that the thieves must be amplifying the signal from the key fob in the house to trick his car’s keyless entry system into thinking the key was in the thieves’ hand. He eventually resorted to keeping his keys in the freezer.

Now a group of German vehicle security researchers has released new findings about the extent of that wireless key hack, and their work ought to convince hundreds of thousands of drivers to keep their car keys next to their Pudding Pops. The Munich-based automobile club ADAC late last week made public a study it had performed on dozens of cars to test a radio “amplification attack” that silently extends the range of unwitting drivers’ wireless key fobs to open cars and even start their ignitions, as first reported by the German business magazine WirtschaftsWoche. The ADAC researchers say that 24 different vehicles from 19 different manufacturers were all vulnerable, allowing them to not only reliably unlock the target vehicles but also immediately drive them away.

“This clear vulnerability in keys facilitates the work of thieves immensely,” reads a post in German about the researchers’ findings on the ADAC website. “The radio connection between keys and car can easily be extended over several hundred meters, regardless of whether the original key is, for example, at home or in the pocket of the owner.”

That car key hack is far from new: Swiss researchers published a paper detailing a similar amplification attack as early as 2011. But the ADAC researchers say they can perform the attack far more cheaply than those predecessors, spending just $225 on their attack device compared with the multi-thousand-dollar software-defined radios used in the Swiss researchers’ study. They’ve also tested a larger array of vehicles and, unlike the earlier study, released the specific makes and models of which vehicles were susceptible to the attack; they believe that hundreds of thousands of vehicles in driveways and parking lots today remain open to the wireless theft method.


Mr. Fish Toon- We Must Be Punished

Tuesday Toon Roundup 3- The Rest





Sea World

Tuesday Toon Roundup 2- Trump March Madness

Tuesday Toon Roundup 1- Cuba

Toon: Huge Crowds

Bernie Sanders Expands Native Inclusion

Sen. Bernie Sanders swept through Washington State on Sunday, meeting with tribal leaders and Native voters and speaking before tens of thousands at rallies in Vancouver, Seattle and Spokane in anticipation of the state Democratic caucus Friday, March 26.

He started in Vancouver, where nearly 7,500 people waited in the rain in long lines circling a local high school. Entrance was granted on a first come, first served basis and crowds began camping out at 4:30 a.m.

Before speaking, Senator Sanders met with local Native American leaders, Roben White (Cheyenne/Lakota) leader of Washington for Bernie Sanders Congressional District 3 and Becky Archibald (Shoshone Bannock) board member of the Clark County Historical Museum. They gifted the candidate with a Pendleton blanket, ledger art, and a necklace for his wife, Jane Sanders.

On back of the ledger art White wrote, “there is a great power in this art and we share it with you to help you regarding your decisions on how to enforce the treaties.”

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/03/21/bernie-sanders-expands-native-inclusion-163829

Startling images reveal devastating coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef

Startling images have emerged of devastating coral bleaching unfolding across parts of the Great Barrier Reef, as the marine park authority overseeing the environmental icon has raised its response to the highest level possible.

The severe bleaching event has again prompted concern about the damage climate change is doing to the world heritage protected reef, one of Australia's most important tourist sites, with scientists and green groups calling for Australia to lift its game in tackling global warming.

On Monday WWF-Australia released underwater images taken of bleached corals around Lizard Island in the pristine northern stretches of the barrier reef north of Cooktown.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/startling-images-reveal-devastating-coral-bleaching-on-the-great-barrier-reef-20160321-gnnjt3.html

Why there might be many more Universes than our own

By Philip Ball
21 March 2016

Is our Universe one of many?
The idea of parallel universes, once consigned to science fiction, is now becoming respectable among scientists – at least, among physicists, who have a tendency to push ideas to the limits of what is conceivable.

In fact there are almost too many other potential universes. Physicists have proposed several candidate forms of "multiverse", each made possible by a different aspect of the laws of physics.

The trouble is, virtually by definition we probably cannot ever visit these other universes to confirm that they exist. So the question is, can we devise other ways to test for the existence of entire universes that we cannot see or touch?

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