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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 01:08 PM
Number of posts: 44,614

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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Cuomo Is Giving Millionaire Yacht Owners a Massive Tax Break

From the minute he took office in 2010, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been criticized for favoring the One Percent. His administration has scaled back corporate taxes of all shapes and sizes, and the Democrat is often criticized for cozying up to the state's wealthy residents and, by extension, their campaign wallets. His closest legislative ally, former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, is facing fraud charges. And currently, the federal investigation into the Cuomo administration's handling of the Moreland Commission—which was supposed to rout this corruption—is directly linked to billionaires who have donated to the governor's campaigns, and benefited from his policies.

So yeah, the major tax break for rich yacht and private jet owners included in the latest state budget shouldn't surprise those familiar with New York politics.

On Monday night, in a 44-17 vote, the New York state Senate passed a tax break for New Yorkers who own "vessels" valued at more than $230,000, placing the Empire State in the same league as Florida and Connecticut. Basically, that means that anyone who owns a yacht or, according to state law, any naval vehicle "used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water" that costs more than $230,000 will not have to pay a sales tax on anything above that amount. Meanwhile, the entire purchase of private jets carrying fewer than 20 people would be tax-less.

The bipartisan provision had already appeared earlier this year, in separate proposals by Assembly Democrats and the Senate GOP, and was ultimately added to the $150 billion budget submitted by Cuomo's team before it was approved by both parties earlier this week. This marks another year that his administration has passed a budget on time—a welcome change in Albany, where budget deadlines were once regarded as a suggestion—and, almost like clockwork, another year that New Yorkers are pissed off.



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Scientists calculate the diffraction of light with quantum physics

New study brings physics closer to uniting Einstein's general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics.

By: Lise Brix
A team of physicists have succeeded in calculating the diffraction of light -- caused by gravitational pull -- using methods from quantum mechanics. This has brought them closer to uniting gravitational pull and the theory of relativity with quantum mechanics.

“We have found a framework within which we can use quantum physics to predict the diffraction of light," says Emil Bjerrum-Bohr, an associate professor at the University of Copenhagen and one of the scientists behind the new study. He is also the great-grandson of the founder of quantum mechanics, Niels Bohr.

In the new study, their quantum mechanical calculations fit with Einstein's general theory of relativity. The two fields, the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics, have otherwise been almost impossible to connect and physicists have been searching for several decades for a new theory to unite the two.

"Until now it hasn't been possible to formulate a quantum theory for gravitational force. Most of the ideas that have been tried run into paradoxes and problems," says Bjerrum-Bohr.



Mice sing just like birds, but we can’t hear them

It's true: Mice actually sing, especially when they're looking for a mate. That's not anything new. But unlike birdsong, mouse-song is much too high-pitched for humans to hear. So no, it's not exactly Cinderella-esque, as you can hear for yourself in the above video. But it is shockingly intricate.

In a new study published Wednesday in Frontiers of Behavioral Neuroscience, researchers at Duke University took a new approach to analyzing mouse songs: They analyzed them the way scientists analyze bird songs. They looked for changes in the way mice string together syllables, hoping to analyze whether they used and responded to different songs in different situations.

Sure enough, male mice on the lookout for an unseen female (an illusion the researchers created by exposing them to female urine) gave loud, complex song performances. But once they were in a female's presence, they simmered down. Females seemed to be more receptive to those first, more complex songs.


Tom The Dancing Bug TOON:Lo, In The Land Of Indiana

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Immigrant Workers

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