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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 31,454

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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

"the only thing preventing a catastrophe from a 'city-killer' sized asteroid is blind luck."

This Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22, three former NASA astronauts will present new evidence that our planet has experienced many more large-scale asteroid impacts over the past decade than previously thought… three to ten times more, in fact. A new visualization of data from a nuclear weapons warning network, to be unveiled by B612 Foundation CEO Ed Lu during the evening event at Seattle's Museum of Flight, shows that "the only thing preventing a catastrophe from a 'city-killer' sized asteroid is blind luck."

Since 2001, 26 atomic-bomb-scale explosions have occurred in remote locations around the world, far from populated areas, made evident by a nuclear weapons test warning network. In a recent press release B612 Foundation CEO Ed Lu states:

"This network has detected 26 multi-kiloton explosions since 2001, all of which are due to asteroid impacts. It shows that asteroid impacts are NOT rare—but actually 3-10 times more common than we previously thought. The fact that none of these asteroid impacts shown in the video was detected in advance is proof that the only thing preventing a catastrophe from a 'city-killer' sized asteroid is blind luck. The goal of the B612 Sentinel mission is to find and track asteroids decades before they hit Earth, allowing us to easily deflect them."

The B612 Foundation is partnered with Ball Aerospace to build the Sentinel Infrared Space Telescope Mission. Once positioned in solar orbit closer to the Sun from Earth, Sentinel will look outwards in infrared to detect hundreds of thousands of as-yet unknown near-Earth objects over 140 meters in size. The privately-funded spacecraft is slated to launch in 2017-18 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.



Toon: 8 million Obamacare Fans can't be wrong…..

riff on:

Mr Fish Takes on Easter (not for the easily offended)

Ugandan Catholic Easter Message Calls for Genocide of Gays


The Bishop of the Jinja Diocese of the Catholic Church, Bishop Rt. Rev. Fr. Charles Wamika, in today’s Easter Message delivered at St. Chalres Lwanga Catholic Church, praised the Members of Parliament for the Anti-Homosexuality Act that provides life in prison for gay (LGBTI) people in Uganda. The Bishop called for a blessing for Uganda’s Christians who worked so hard to ‘free the land of gays.’ The Bishope also asked for parents to hand over their gay children to authorities, so they would be rewarded in heaven. I would call that a statement praising and calling for a genocide.

Since the passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people have gone into hiding. The law, which institutionalizes homophobia and affirms the persecution of LGBTI people, has been held in esteem, the highest reverence and praised by Christian leadership in Uganda, to the point of holding rallies to reward parliamentarians and the President, Yoweri Museveni. The Ugandan Churches and Christian community, (except for a handful, who have been banished and shamed for their compassionate and affirming stance,) have led the assault against gays.

We have challenged noteworthy Christian leaders such as Joel Osteen and others to come forward and condemn the law, and to distinguish their brands of Christianity from that been touted on the stages and streets of Uganda, yet none have done so.

Now a young man in hiding, challenges the Pope, Pope Francis, as the Catholic Church’s official stand in Uganda, on this Easter Sunday seems to send a message of extreme hate, exacerbating the terror felt by gays in hiding.


Jamaica sees green in ganja

By Amar Toor

It seems the United States is inching ever closer to decriminalizing marijuana, following the passage of new laws in Colorado and Washington, but on the seemingly weed-friendly shores of Jamaica — birthplace of reggae music and the Rastafari — pot remains as illegal as it's been for more than a century. It's a paradox for an island nation that has become synonymous with names like Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, but Jamaican politicians and legalization advocates say change is coming soon — perhaps as soon as this year.

Earlier this month, about 300 people gathered in the Jamaican capital of Kingston to launch the Ganja Future Growers and Producers Association, the country's first lobby group of marijuana cultivators. The new organization will push for the creation of a regulated weed industry in Jamaica, which it says will boost the country's economy and spur medical research. As more countries look to liberalize their drug policies, the hope is that decriminalization will allow Jamaica to become something of a pot powerhouse.

"With the global movement that is emerging — in Uruguay, in parts of Canada, in states in the US — there is a sense that the moment is right for Jamaica," says Rupert Lewis, professor emeritus of political science at the University of the West Indies.

Advocates say that a legal weed market would generate extra tax revenue and create new jobs in Jamaica, which has been hampered by high unemployment and inflation rates since the financial crisis of 2008. There's also hope that it may help alleviate the country's notorious problems with crime and gang-related violence. Ganja growers would be able to sell their herbs legitimately, rather than on the black market, while police and prosecutors would have more time to deal with more serious crimes, rather than small-time possession busts.



God Hates...


The Hate Bus

Before it was synonymous with hippies, peace and love, one infamous VW Combi van was riding across America to brazenly spread a message of hate. Pictured at a gas station in 1961 by LIFE photographer Joe Scherschel, the iconic vintage vehicle suddenly loses its charm …

The “Hate” Bus was the disturbing idea of George Lincoln Rockwell, whose name is proudly plastered all over the bus. He was the founder of the American Nazi Party, calling for “white power” and racial segregation. In the early 1960s, he acquired a Volkswagen van and decorated it with messages of hate, white supremacy and anti-semitic slogans. Rockwell personally drove it with a band of party members around the deep south, organising rallies and speaking at Ku Klux Klan meets. These photographs were taken on May 23rd, three days after the Freedom Riders were infamously assaulted at the Greyhound Station in Montgomery.



Breaking Proud Tradition, Captains Flee and Let Others Go Down With Ship


Ever since the Titanic sank on its maiden voyage, carrying its captain and many of the passengers with it, the notion that the captain goes down with his ship has been ingrained in popular culture.

But now, for the second time in just over two years, a sea captain — first in Italy and now in South Korea — has been among the first to flee a sinking vessel, placing his own life ahead of those of his terrified passengers.



This is heartbreaking:

One, Park Ho-jin, 16, found a 6-year-old girl standing alone and wet on the side of the ship as it was sliding slowly into the water. She had been left there by her older brother who went back into the ship to hunt for their mother. Mr. Park swept the child into his arms and delivered her to rescuers who had pulled a boat alongside the ship. Mr. Park made it onto a later rescue boat.

Another high school student who survived reported that a crew member named Park Ji-young, 22, had helped teenagers to get life jackets and escape by urging them to jump into the frigid waters of the Yellow Sea where rescue boats were waiting. She stayed behind without a life jacket for herself despite the youngsters’ entreaties to jump with them. “After saving you, I will get out,” she said. “The crew goes out last.”

She was later found dead, floating in the sea.

Charts showing the insanity of the US Health care system

Our health spending problem is all about prices

Nexium is a bright, purple pill that treats heartburn. It's the second best-selling drug in the United States right now. Americans spent $6.2 billion buying millions of Nexium prescriptions in 2013 alone.

But we probably didn't have to: while Americans pay an average of $215 for a Nexium prescription, the Dutch get the exact same purple pill for $23. In England, Nexium costs $42 and in Spain the price is $58.

If the United States paid what the Netherlands paid for Nexium, we would have spent $663 million on the drug in 2013 rather than $6.2 billion.


The Footage of SpaceX's First Falcon 9 Reusable Flight Test is Gorgeous

You thought SpaceX's Grasshopper was impressive? Grasshopper was just the beginning. Behold, the first flight test of the company's Falcon 9 Reusable Launch Vehicle.

SpaceX currently uses a non-reusable version of the Falcon 9 to launch its Dragon capsules into low-Earth orbit, on commercial resupply missions to the International Space Station. In fact, the company made such a launch yesterday.

Making its Falcon 9 a reusable launch vehicle capable of vertical takeoff/vertical landing will save the company a lot of time, money and resources in the long run, and represents a major step on the company's path to commercial spaceflight supremacy.

Via SpaceX:

The F9R testing program is the next step towards reusability following completion of the Grasshopper program last year (Grasshopper can be seen in the background of this video). Future testing, including that in New Mexico, will be conducted using the first stage of a F9R as shown here, which is essentially a Falcon 9 v1.1 first stage with legs. F9R test flights in New Mexico will allow us to test at higher altitudes than we are permitted for at our test site in Texas, to do more with unpowered guidance and to prove out landing cases that are more-flight like.


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