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Call for Papers: Anthropology of Outer Space: Familiar Scales, Strange Sites


Call for Papers

ANTHROPOLOGY of OUTER SPACE: Familiar Scales, Strange Sites

AAA 2015 – Denver, Colorado, USA

Topic: Current interdisciplinary research in the anthropology of outer space.

Discussant: Lisa R. Messeri, PhD (Assistant Professor, University of Virginia)

Kira Turner, PhD candidate (York University)
Michael P. Oman-Reagan, PhD candidate (Memorial University)

Conference: 114th American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting (November 18-22, 2015 )

This panel aims to investigate the meanings, limits, and possibilities of expanding our anthropological fieldwork into space. At stake is an understanding of how human activity in space increasingly shapes possible human futures both on and off planet Earth. We ask: What are the constraints and potentialities of interrogating outer space in this emerging era of science, imagination, exploration, and settlement?

Planetary scientists, astronauts, and others working within the contested terrains of space science, exploration, settlement, and resource extraction are constructing diverse, sometimes conflicting, visions for human futures in space. This panel builds on anthropology’s attunement to multiple scales of inquiry to investigate the complex dimensions of our emerging field sites in both space and here on Earth. Narratives of space dominance, alongside venture capitalism and the space industry, explicitly aim for the privatization and commodification of other worlds and their resources. However, today’s globalizing space exploration increasingly defies familiar Cold War narratives as India, Nigeria, Indonesia, and others join the list of space faring nations. At the boundaries where our familiar everyday lives on Earth meet figurations of the alien and otherworldly in outer space, we find productive areas of inquiry at the intersections of space sciences, political economy, technosocialities, and imaginaries.


We are interested in work examining these topics through social, environmental, historical, ontological, material, performative and other approaches, such as:

- Space histories, scientific future imaginaries
- Embodied and anthropomorphized robotic exploration rovers
- Outer space infrastructures, analogues and extreme environments
- Space tourism, interstellar travel, multi-generational world ships
- Satellites, environment, climate change, space medicine
- Emergent methods and theories of what we could call astro-/exo-/xeno-anthropology


US to Deploy Six National Guard Companies to Ukraine This Week

Source: Sputnik

The United States will deploy personnel by the end of this week to train the Ukrainian national guard, US 173rd Airborne Brigade Commander Colonel Michael Foster said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC on Monday.

“Before this week is up, we’ll be deploying a battalion minus… to the Ukraine to train Ukrainian forces for the fight that’s taking place,” Foster stated. “What we’ve got laid out is six United States companies that will be training six Ukrainian companies throughout the summer.”


The current channels for military training set up between Ukraine and the United States would not be used for transferring defensive lethal aid if the United States decided to provide arms to Ukraine, Foster told Sputnik on Monday.

“It would go through something separate… We would not funnel the lethal aid or arms through that event, we would use a secondary method for that,” Foster said, adding that a completely separate process is preferable.


Read more: http://sputniknews.com/military/20150303/1018973141.html

U.S. Running Out of Room to Store Oil; Price Collapse Seen

Source: Associated Press

The U.S. has so much crude that it is running out of places to put it -- and that could drive oil and gasoline prices even lower in the coming months.

For the past seven weeks, the United States has been producing and importing an average of 1 million more barrels of oil every day than it is consuming. That extra crude is flowing into storage tanks, especially at the country's main trading hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, pushing U.S. supplies to their highest point in at least 80 years, the Energy Department reported last week. If this keeps up, storage tanks could approach their operational limits, known in the industry as "tank tops," by mid-April and send the price of crude -- and probably gasoline, too -- plummeting.

"The fact of the matter is we are running out of storage capacity in the U.S.," Ed Morse, head of commodities research at Citibank, said at a recent symposium at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Morse has suggested oil could fall all the way to $20 a barrel from the current $50. At that rock-bottom price, oil companies, faced with mounting losses, would stop pumping oil until the glut eased. Gasoline prices would fall along with crude, though lower refinery production, because of seasonal factors and unexpected outages, could prevent a sharp decline.

Multiple Factors Involved

The national average price of gasoline is $2.44 a gallon. That's $1.02 cheaper than last year at this time, but up 37 cents over the past month. Other analysts agree that crude is poised to fall sharply -- if not all the way to $20 -- because it continues to flood into storage for a number of reasons:


Read more: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2015/03/03/america-lacks-room-store-oil/

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's full speech to Congress

Watch Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's full speech to Congress
PBS NewsHour
Streamed live on Mar 3, 2015

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint meeting of Congress in Washington, D.C. to say that the ongoing negotations between Iran and the United States would "all but guarantee" that Tehran will get nuclear weapons.

Fast forward 26 minutes to his speech.

This is an archive of their live stream, the first 25 minutes they're just waiting for him to arrive and get to the podium, everyone's just milling around in their seats.

Susan Rice on Iran Nuclear Negotiations: 'A Bad Deal Is Worse Than No Deal'

Source: National Journal

In a Hebrew-laden speech Monday at the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Susan Rice interlaced personal anecdotes about her own visits to Israel with an unequivocal message about the nation's security: that the United States is "committed to ensuring that Israel is never alone."

A nuclear-armed Iran is a threat to not only Israel, she said, but also to the United States and the rest of the world. American officials are "keeping all options on the table" to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, but they have limits. Rice insisted that Iran is further away from developing a nuclear weapon than it was a year ago and that the United States is looking beyond that country's promises to ensure the negotiations are taken seriously.

"We are not taking anything on trust. What matters are Iran's actions, not its words," Rice said.

"I want to be very clear: A bad deal is worse than no deal," Rice said to much applause.


Read more: http://www.nationaljournal.com/defense/susan-rice-on-iran-nuclear-negotiations-a-bad-deal-is-worse-than-no-deal-20150302

Satellite Explodes After 'Catastrophic Event'

Source: Sky News

A Navy satellite used to provide real-time weather reports has exploded in space.

The US Air Force confirmed that the 20-year-old Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Flight 13 (DMSP-F13) suffered a "catastrophic event".

It shattered into 43 pieces following a sudden temperature spike which triggered the loss of its altitude control.

The event happened on 3 February but the incident has only just came to light following questions from website Space News.


Read more: http://news.sky.com/story/1436965/satellite-explodes-after-catastrophic-event

UN nuclear watchdog says Iran still withholding key information

Source: Reuters

The head of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog said Monday that Iran had still not handed over key information to his staff, and that his body's investigation into Tehran's atomic program could not continue indefinitely.

"Iran has yet to provide explanations that enable the agency to clarify two outstanding practical measures," chief Yukiya Amano told the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Board of Governors in Vienna, echoing a report seen by Reuters last month.

The two measures relating to alleged explosives tests and other measures that might have been used for bomb research should have been addressed by Iran last August.

"The Agency is not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities," Amano said.


Read more: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/3/2/un-nuclear-watchdog-says-iran-still-withholding-key-information.html

SpaceX Falcon 9 launches debut dual satellite mission

Source: NASASpaceflight.com

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket made its sixteenth launch Sunday, carrying a pair of commercial communications satellites in the company’s first dual launch to a geosynchronous transfer orbit.


The satellites aboard the Falcon 9 are Asia Broadcast Satellite’s ABS-3A spacecraft, and Eutelsat 115 West B for French telecommunications company Eutelsat. Constructed by Boeing Satellite Systems, both spacecraft are based on the company’s new BSS-702SP bus.


The 702SP has a significantly reduced mass compared to its predecessors, enabling two spacecraft to be launched by rockets which would normally only be able to carry one.

The mass savings have primarily been achieved through the use of electric propulsion for orbit-raising manoeuvres which eliminates the need to carry a chemical apogee motor or the propellant which accounts for a significant portion of the launch mass of most geosynchronous spacecraft.


Read more: http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/03/spacex-falcon-9-debut-dual-satellite-mission/

Deadly bacteria release sparks concern at Louisiana lab

Source: USA Today

A dangerous, often deadly, type of
bacteria that lives in soil and water has
been released from a high-security
laboratory at the Tulane National Primate
Research Center in Louisiana. Officials say
there is no risk to the public. Yet despite
weeks of investigation by multiple federal
and state agencies, the cause of the
release and the extent of the
contamination remain unknown, according
to interviews and records obtained by USA


Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/03/01/tulane-primate-bio-lab-bacteria-release/24137053/

The Dynamics of Possible Nuclear Extinction

Live stream and archive at http://totalwebcasting.com/view/?id=hcf

Symposium: The Dynamics of Possible Nuclear Extinction
February 28 - March 1, 2015

A unique, two-day symposium at which an international panel of leading experts in disarmament, political science, existential risk, artificial intelligence, anthropology, medicine, nuclear weapons and other nuclear issues will be held at The New York Academy of Medicine on Feb 28- March 1, 2015.

A project of The Helen Caldicott Foundation

DAY ONE: Saturday, February 28

Morning Session

9am Opening Remarks
to be announced

9.15 – 9.30 Moderator Kennette Benedict
Executive Editor and Publisher Bulletin of Atomic Scientists – It’s 3 Minutes to Midnight.

9.35 – 9.55 Theodore Postol
Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology, and National Security Policy, MIT – Striving for Armageddon

10.00 – 10.20 Max Tegmark
Professor of Physics, MIT – Artificial Intelligence and the Risk of Accidental Nuclear War

10.25 – 10.45 Alan Robock
Distinguished Professor, Department Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University – Nuclear Famine and Nuclear Winter: Climatic Effects of Nuclear War, Catastrophic Threats to the Global Food Supply

10.50 – 11.20 Q&A

11.20 – 11:50 tea and coffee break

11.55 – 12.15 Steven Starr
Associate of Nuclear Age peace Foundation, Former Board Member and Senior Scientist for Physicians for Social Responsibility – An Unrecognized Catastrophic Extinction Event Waiting to Happen

12.20 – 12.40 Bruce Gagnon
Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space – The Ongoing and Dangerous Militarization of Space Nuclear War

12.45 – 1.05 Bill Hartung
Center for International Policy – Inordinate Power and Pathological Dynamics of the US Military Industrial Complex

1:05 – 1:30 Q&A

1:30 – 2:30 Lunch Break

Afternoon Session

2:40-3.00 Greg Mello
Los Alamos Study Group – The Role and Funding of the US Nuclear Weapons Labs

3.05 – 3.25 Seth Baum
Global Catastrophic Risk Institute – The Catastrophic Risk of Nuclear War

3.30 – 3.50 Bob Alvarez
Institute Of Policy Studies – Lateral Proliferation Could Trigger a Nuclear Holocaust

3.55 – 4.15 Robert Parry
Investigative Journalist, Consortium News – Ukraine and the Human Factor : How propaganda and passions can risk nuclear conflagration.

4.15 – 4.45 Q&A

DAY TWO: Sunday, March 1

Morning Session

9.00 – 9.15am Opening by Moderator Ray Acheson
Director of Reaching Critical Will – Report on Vienna conference

9.20 – 9.40 Holly Barker
Department of Anthropology, University of Washington – Medical, Teratogenic and Genetic Pathology Related to US Nuclear Testing in the Marshall Islands

9.45 – 10.05 Hans Kristensen
Federation of American Scientists – The Status and Trends of the World’s Nuclear Arsenals

10.10 – 10.30 John Feffer
Institute of Policy Studies – Comparison of Spending on US Military Industrial Complex and Prevention of Global Warming

10.35 – 11.05 Q&A

11.05 – 11.35 Tea and Coffee Break

11.40– 12.00 Janne Nolan
Elliott School of International Affairs – Hooligans at the Gate: The Checkered History of Arms Control

12.05 – 12:25 Mike Lofgren
Former congressional staffer and author of Anatomy of the Deep State – The Merger of Corporations and the US Government as an Underlying Cause of the Current Nuclear Situation

12.30 – 12.50 Susi Snyder
(PAX, the Netherlands), Author of the 2013 & 2014 DON’T BANK ON THE BOMB reports – Don’t Bank on the Bomb.

12.55– 1:25 Q&A

1.30– 2.30 Lunch Break

Afternoon Session

2:35– 2.55 Alex Wellerstein
Assistant Professor of Science and Technology Studies, Stevens Institute of Technology – Personalizing the Bomb

3.00 – 3.20 Hugh Gusterson
Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs, George Washington University will describe his anthropological research over many years studying the culture of nuclear weapons scientists at Livermore and Los Alamos Labs.

3.25 – 3.45 Robert Scheer
author of Star Warriors – The Madness Persists

3.50 – 4.10 Noam Chomsky
Institute Professor and Professor of Linguistics MIT – A Pathology That Could Yield to Catastrophe if Not Cured

4.15 – 4.45 Q&A

4.45 – 4.15 Tea and Coffee Break

5.20 – 5.40 David Krieger
President Nuclear Age Peace Foundation –Nuclear Zero Lawsuits Brought By the Marshall Islands Against the Nine Nuclear Nations

5.45 – 6.05 Tim Wright
Campaign Director International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons ICAN – Some New and Exciting Solutions

6.10 – 6.30 Dr. Helen Caldicott
President The Helen Caldicott Foundation– While There’s Life There’s Hope

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