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n2doc

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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 33,731

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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Tom The Dancing Bug toon: Fixed the Obamacare Web Site

Luckovich toon: Tonight's Debate

Pacific Ocean warming 15 times faster than before

Doyle Rice, USA TODAY 3:55 p.m. EDT October 31, 2013

lthough the temperature of the Earth's atmosphere may have hit the "pause" button recently — with little global warming measured over the past few years — that hasn't been the case with the oceans.

In a study out today in the journal Science, researchers say that the middle depths of a part of the Pacific Ocean have warmed 15 times faster in the past 60 years than they did during the previous 10,000 years.

Most of the heat that humanity has put into the atmosphere since the 1970s from greenhouse gas emissions has likely been absorbed by the oceans, according to the most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations-sponsored group of scientists that issues reports every few years about the effects of global warming.

"Increases in ocean heat content and temperature are robust indicators of global warming during the past several decades," according to today's Science study.

"We're pumping heat into the ocean at a faster rate over the past 60 years," said study lead author Yair Rosenthal, a climate scientist at Rutgers University. "We may have underestimated the efficiency of the oceans as a storehouse for heat and energy," he added. "It may buy us some time — how much time, I don't really know. But it's not going to stop climate change."

more

http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2013/10/31/global-warming-pacific-ocean/3324251/

Funny how everything’s gone left



By Danny Westneat

The election isn’t for 10 days, but we can already declare the big winner in Seattle.

It’s the socialist.

Kshama Sawant, the first socialist to make the finals of a Seattle election in 22 years, probably won’t win election herself. But what’s most notable about Seattle politics this year is that nearly her entire agenda has, over the course of the campaign, been embraced by both candidates for mayor to lead the Northwest’s largest city.

The movement in Sawant’s lefty direction has been so pronounced it has reduced her to making jokes about how she got there first.

“I was for the $15 minimum wage before it was cool,” she has started saying.

Sawant is running for City Council under the socialist Alternative banner. But if you tick through her stances and goals, they are pretty much indistinguishable from those of current Mayor Mike McGinn or his challenger, state Sen. Ed Murray.

more

http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2022131936_westneat27xml.html

Seattle as leading indicator? I like it!

Sriracha smell complaints began with Irwindale councilman's son

By Frank Shyong and Hector Becerra
Los Angeles Times
October 31, 2013, 2:55 p.m.

In a declaration filed Thursday morning, David Tran, chief executive and founder of Huy Fong Foods, said the first complaints about the Sriracha hot sauce factory in late 2012 came from an Irwindale city councilman's son.

The declaration does not name the councilman's son, but sources told The Times it refers to the son of councilman Hector Manuel Ortiz. The Irwindale City Council and city manager have not responded to requests for comment made Thursday morning.

According to the declaration, Huy Fong Foods responded to the son's first complaint last year by installing filters. The matter seemed to be resolved, until September, when he complained again, a month after chili grinding had begun, according to the declaration.

Huy Fong officials have responded by installing additional filters and inviting engineers from the South Coast Air Quality Management District to inspect the plant. City officials, according to Tran, suggested using an air-filtration system that would cost $600,000 to install, but Tran said he wanted to explore other options. The company has since contacted three separate air quality consultants to determine the best smell reduction methods, according to the declaration.

more
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-sriracha-complains-councilman-son-20131031,0,1026708.story#axzz2jLZhiDmG

Today's APOD: Night on a Spooky Planet



Night on a Spooky Planet
Image Credit & Copyright: Stéphane Vetter (Nuits sacrées)

Explanation: What spooky planet is this? Planet Earth of course, on the dark and stormy night of September 12 at Hverir, a geothermally active area along the volcanic landscape in northeastern Iceland. Geomagnetic storms produced the auroral display in the starry night sky while ghostly towers of steam and gas venting from fumaroles danced against the eerie greenish light. Tonight, there is still a chance for geomagnetic storms triggered by recent solar activity, so high-latitude skygazers should beware. And ghostly shapes may dance in your neighborhood, too. Have a safe and Happy Halloween!

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap131031.html

Why Hot Water Freezes Faster Than Cold—Physicists Solve the Mpemba Effect

Water may be one of the most abundant compounds on Earth, but it is also one of more mysterious. For example, like most liquids it becomes denser as it cools. But unlike them, it reaches a state of maximum density at 4°C and then becomes less dense before it freezes.

In solid form, it is less dense still, which is why standard ice floats on water. That’s one reason why life on Earth has flourished— if ice were denser than water, lakes and oceans would freeze from the bottom up, almost certainly preventing the kind of chemistry that makes life possible.

Then there is the strange Mpemba effect, named after a Tanzanian student who discovered that a hot ice cream mix freezes faster than a cold mix in cookery classes in the early 1960s. (In fact, the effect has been noted by many scientists throughout history including Aristotle, Francis Bacon and René Descartes.)

The Mpemba effect is the observation that warm water freezes more quickly than cold water. The effect has been measured on many occasions with many explanations put forward. One idea is that warm containers make better thermal contact with a refrigerator and so conduct heat more efficiently. Hence the faster freezing. Another is that warm water evaporates rapidly and since this is an endothermic process, it cools the water making it freeze more quickly.

more
https://medium.com/editors-picks/d8a2f611e853

Physics: What We Do and Don’t Know

Steven Weinberg


In the past fifty years two large branches of physical science have each made a historic transition. I recall both cosmology and elementary particle physics in the early 1960s as cacophonies of competing conjectures. By now in each case we have a widely accepted theory, known as a “standard model.”

Cosmology and elementary particle physics span a range from the largest to the smallest distances about which we have any reliable knowledge. The cosmologist looks out to a cosmic horizon, the farthest distance light could have traveled since the universe became transparent to light over ten billion years ago, while the elementary particle physicist explores distances much smaller than an atomic nucleus. Yet our standard models really work—they allow us to make numerical predictions of high precision, which turn out to agree with observation.

Up to a point the stories of cosmology and particle physics can be told separately. In the end, though, they will come together.


much much more

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2013/nov/07/physics-what-we-do-and-dont-know/

Utah man shot, killed by Texas police while running away, witnesses say

SALINA — A man who was born and raised in Salina was shot and killed by police Monday in Duncanville, Texas, just outside of Dallas.

Several witnesses, including the man's sister, said Clinton Peterson, 28, was unarmed and running away from police when he was shot.

"I'm not aware of how many shots were fired or who shot," said Doug Sisk, a Duncanville police officer. "I know shots were fired is all I know."

Police said they were responding to a call of a major disturbance. Clinton's sister, Melissa Peterson, said he was at her house Monday morning and refused to leave.

"My friend had called the cops because she just wanted him to go home and calm down," Melissa said.

She said her brother was walking home when two officers arrived. When confronted at gunpoint, she said Clinton put his hands in his pockets and began backing away from officers. She said Clinton took off running. Melissa saw one officer tase Clinton while the other fired his gun.

more

http://www.ksl.com/?sid=27452796&nid=148&title=utah-man-shot-killed-by-texas-police-while-running-away-witnesses-say&fm=home_page&s_cid=featured-1

Alec Baldwin: Americans have been lied to

Obviously, we’ve been here before. The United States has been here before. The friction between democracy (or democracy as we like to think of it) and capitalism has often created agonising tensions and dramatic upheavals for America. Those spasms left us at least as demoralised as many Americans feel in the wake of the Edward Snowden-NSA revelations. The reality that the government is spying on Americans on a wholesale level, seemingly indiscriminately, doesn’t really come as a surprise to many, given the assumed imperatives of the post- 9/11 security state. People seem more stricken by the fact that Barack Obama, who once vowed to close Guantanamo, has adopted CIA-NSA policies regarding domestic spying, as well as by government attempts to silence, even hunt down, the press.

Americans, in terms of their enthusiasm for defending their beloved democratic principles in the face of an ever more muscular assault on those principles by the state in the name of national security, are exhausted. If you are a “boomer”, like me, and have lived through the past five decades with any degree of political efficacy, you can draw a line from JFK’s assassination to the subsequent escalation of the Vietnam war, on to 1968 with the murders of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, the Chicago Democratic Convention and Nixon’s resurrection; from there, to Kent State, the Pentagon Papers, Nixon’s re-election, Watergate, Nixon’s resignation, Ford’s pardon, Carter’s one term and out, the curious Iran hostage situation, Reagan (who brings back a degree of the charm and affability that died in Dallas), Iran Contra, Oliver North, Bush the First (as in first CIA director to become president), Iraq the First, Clinton kills welfare, Gingrich shuts down the Congress, Clinton’s impeachment, the 2000 election, Bush v Gore, Bush the Second, 9/11, Iraq the Second, “Mission Accomplished”, the Swift Boaters, Afghanistan, Gitmo, Assange, Manning, Snowden.

I have left out a good deal. There is, of course, a lot that’s positive running through the American narrative during this time, but I think more bad than good. You look at all of this laid end to end and you’d think the US might have had a nervous breakdown. I believe it actually did.

Americans are pretty basic. Generally speaking, they are a “suit up and show up” type of crowd. In spite of images of rampant obesity running throughout the country, gun laws that border on madness and our debt ceiling made of Swiss cheese, more Americans wake up every day to participate in an experience defined by work, sacrifice and moderate self-denial. They are workaholics who exercise, eat fairly well, drink in moderation and refrain from drugs and extramarital affairs while, perhaps, fantasising about either or both. They are devoted to family, friends, churches and social organisations. They are generous with their money as well as time. When disaster strikes, America is a good place to be.

But one thing that Americans fail at, miserably, is taking their government to task when that government has lied to them, defrauded them, covered up its crimes and otherwise blocked them from knowing essential truths. In political terms, Americans have a strong devotion to afflicting the afflicted and comforting the comfortable. They have a hard time contemplating any meaningful overhaul of the rules of their political system, preferring to say “Please, sir, may I have another” in the face of abuses of power. Americans, despite all of their claims to an “exceptionalism” among the nations of the world, have been lied to for so long about so many relevant topics, they have lost sight of what the truth is.

more

http://www.newstatesman.com/2013/10/americans-have-been-lied
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