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Member since: Thu Sep 25, 2008, 03:38 PM
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Here is more information on Dome A and cold temperatures (directly measured vs. imaged) ...

T = −89.2°C:
Dome A
Location: 80°22' S 77°22'E.

With a surface elevation of 4093 m, Dome Argus (Dome A) is the highest place in Antarctica, though one of the least-known places on the globe. It lies near one end of an elongate ridge (about 60 km long and 10 km wide). The ice thickness there is more than 3000 m, overlaying the subglacial Gamburtsev Mountains. Palaeo-scientists consider it suitable for collecting an ice core that will provide a record of past climate and atmospheric gas composition going back more than one million years.

The coldest place on Earth?

The world’s lowest temperature ever recorded was −89.2°C in July 1983, at the Russian station Vostok, inland of Australia’s Casey station. Dome A is nearly 600 m higher in elevation than Vostok, so there’s a good chance that the automatic weather station at Dome A will one day record the world’s lowest surface temperature. The coldest temperature reached to date was −82.5°C in July 2005.



T = -93.2 °C:
Coldest place on Earth tucked in Antarctic ice pocket
14:07 10 December 2013 by Anil Ananthaswamy

Small dips in the snow atop the Antarctic plateau have set new records for the coldest ever surface temperature on Earth, a distinctly chilly -93.2 °C.

"This temperature is almost as far below the freezing point of water as boiling water is above ," said Ted Scambos of the National Snow and Ice Data Center at Boulder, Colorado, at a meeting yesterday of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

Scambos and his colleagues analysed 32 years of thermal imaging data collected by NASA's MODIS and AVHRR satellite instruments and high-resolution images beamed back by Landsat 8.

The record was set on 10 August, 2010, when the surface temperature plummeted to -93.2 °C. Another pocket dropped to -93 °C on 31 July, 2013. These record lows occurred in small dips in the ice along a 1000-kilometre section of the ridge that stretches between Dome Fuji and Dome Argus, two of the summits on the East Antarctic ice sheet.



I was unaware that China now has a station (Kunlun Station) at Dome A - this video has a good representation of ground conditions:

Minus credibility? Antarctic record low temperature disputed
Published time: December 09, 2013 10:27
Edited time: December 10, 2013 08:41


Still, there is a solid chance to beat the 30-year-old record, believes Russian scientist, and it could be done by Chinese scientists at Kunlun stationed opened in 2009.

“It is uninhabited in winter time, but if they put a meteorological station there – they can register a temperatures lower than at Vostok station,” Vyacheslav Martyanovtold RIA Novosti.

Kunlun station is situated in Antarctica’s highest region known as Dome A (Dome Argus).

The station was opened on February 2, 2009, after the 25th Chinese Antarctic expedition made a 1,200km march from the sea-shore, getting to the continent’s hardest-to-reach area 4,093 meters above sea level.



NYT Science: A Tiny Emissary From the Ancient Past

A Tiny Emissary From the Ancient Past
SEPT. 25, 2014

Carl Zimmer

In the early 1920s, farmers in New Jersey noticed their potatoes were shriveling, their leaves becoming deformed. The plants were sick with an illness that came to be known as potato spindle tuber disease. But it took almost five decades for someone to find the cause.

In 1971, Theodor O. Diener, a plant pathologist at the Department of Agriculture, discovered that the culprit is an inconceivably tiny pathogen — one-80th the size of a virus. Dr. Diener called it a viroid.

Since Dr. Diener’s initial discovery, scientists have identified nearly three dozen species of viroids that attack crops from tomatoes to coconuts, as well as flowers such as dahlias and chrysanthemums. In many cases, the only way to stop an outbreak is to destroy all the infected plants. These days many countries require that plants be certified viroid-free before being imported.

But viroids may be much more than agricultural pests. New research suggests that they existed at the earliest stages of life on Earth, enduring in their primitive state for billions of years. These are the pterodactyls of the microbial world — except that they are still very much with us. We just didn’t realize it.



NYT Opinion Page: Don’t Execute Those We Tortured

These points should be carefully considered:

Don’t Execute Those We Tortured
SEPT. 24, 2014

AFTER years of legal battles, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, will finally be put on trial before a military commission at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, though a trial date hasn’t yet been set. If he is convicted, as expected, he will almost certainly face the death penalty. And, assuming one believes in the death penalty, it would be hard to think of a stronger candidate for its use.

But there are reasons Mr. Mohammed should not be executed, irrespective of how one feels about capital punishment. He was the victim of blatantly illegal treatment — the C.I.A. waterboarded him 183 times in March 2003, and threatened to kill his children while imprisoning him in a secret jail — at the hands of the government.

What happens in his case particularly matters, because President Obama has declined to pursue criminal charges against officials of George W. Bush’s administration for torture and other illegal conduct as part of the war on terror, declaring that the United States must “look forward, as opposed to looking backwards.” His administration declined not only to bring criminal prosecutions, but also to undertake a comprehensive investigation into torture. In contrast, a Senate committee is about to release a long-awaited summary of a 6,200-page “torture report,” after years of legal review and redactions.

The absence of accountability for those who encouraged and conducted torture leaves the criminal sentencing of convicted terrorists as one of the few tools, however imperfect, that remain for addressing past abuses of law, and restoring America’s reputation for dedication to the norms of international law. If convicted, Mr. Mohammed should be spared, because his execution — after years of mistreatment in a series of secret C.I.A.-run prisons before he was moved to Guantánamo — would send a disastrous message about impunity for torture and about the rule of law.



Isn't that the truth!

But the IQ of police recruits would have to be increased, so that they would be able to read either medical symbols or descriptions of various maladies. Maybe a general and simple slogan like "SICK - NO BEAT! NO SHOOT! NO KILL!" (on the front, back and sleeves of a jersey) would be enough if the requisite IQ for police candidacy could not be increased.

As an example of the pure, unspoilt intellect of one of the police officers who was on the scene of this incident, from 1:10 to 1:28 in the video, the following conversation occurs:

Sept. 6, 2014 - Westover & Granville Police


Police Officer: "Ok, how are you involved with this guy?"

S.B.: "I just was driving by....THIS IS INSANE!"

Police Officer: "You're just a bystandard (sic)?"

S.B.: "I'm not a standard (actually dripping sarcasm and anger) of anything. Go away! Leave me alone! I'm not doing anything wrong either, and I'm on private property.


TRIGGER WARNING: Violent Restraint and Cries for Help

There is also this page on facebook:

Per Aspera Ad Astra, it is not...

Ferguson Deployment: What is the experience of the Missouri National Guard....

Here is some information on what the Missouri National Guard has been called upon to do.

Both the 1138th and 1139th Military Police Companies were deployed in Iraq as recently as 2010:

1138th Military Police Company say farewell to Iraq and the 1139th MPs
By: Rachel Knight
Missouri National Guard Public Affairs

AL ASAD, Iraq - After a year deployment, the 1138th Military Police Company is heading home after receiving a warm farewell from the 1139th Military Police Company, who is scheduled to come home in August.

This past weekend, the 1138th met with members of the 1139th Military Police Company when they spent a few days at Al Asad Airbase in Iraq while transitioning home.

"We had two Missouri National Guard units on the same forward operating base at the same time," said Capt. Jakin Waldock, 1139th executive office.

The 1138th Military Police Company, based in West Plains with a detachment in Springfield, was deployed to Camp Cooper, Iraq, where they were tasked with performing various strategic missions in the area, including conducting detention center operations, maintaining evidence and providing security oversight for the internment facility and its detainees.


The 1139th Military Police Company, based in Harrisonville, is deployed to Al Asad Airbase in Iraq with their main mission of conducting security missions and other military police operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The 160 Citizen-Soldier unit consists mostly of members of the 1139th Military Police Company with additional Missouri National Guard members from various companies across the state.


...and all of the Missouri National Guard Military Police Companies have been overseas...

The National Guard is the only branch of the military that supports both the president of the United States and the governor of the Guard's home state. This unique aspect is called our dual mission, and as a result, the Missouri National Guard answers to both President Barack Obama and Governor Jay Nixon.

Defense support to civilian authorities


The Missouri National Guard is the only component of the armed forces that has two missions. Our federal mission is to provide federal support when called upon by the president - this could be for overseas contingency operations or federal emergencies like Hurricane Katrina. Our state mission is to support the governor of the Missouri in times of state crisis.

Our STATE MISSION is to provide trained and disciplined forces for domestic emergencies or as otherwise required by state law under the authority of the governor. Before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, when most people thought of the Missouri National Guard, they typically pictured Guard members filling sandbags or helping transport effected citizens during the floods of 1993. Our role has expanded since 9/11, with Guard members continually serving around the world and around our country. As but as seen during recent emergencies like the June 2008 flood and the January 2009 ice storms, that stateside mission is still a major part of what we do. In the past five years, the Missouri National Guard has responded to a wide range of state and national emergencies including flooding on the Mississippi, tornadoes and hurricanes in the Gulf Coast.

Our FEDERAL MISSION is to maintain properly trained and equipped units for prompt mobilization for war, national emergency, or as otherwise directed by the president. Missouri National Guard members must always be ready for any mission from the president, including peacekeeping missions and overseas contingency operations.

Army National Guard Units Deployed Fiscal Year 2012
- Company A, Aviation Support Group Aurora
- 175th Military Police Battalion Columbia
- 1138th Engineer Company (SAPPER) Farmington
- 2175th Military Police Company Hannibal
- 1138th Transportation Company Jefferson Barracks
- Joint Force Headquarters - Missouri (Elements) Jefferson City
- Agribusiness Development Team V Jefferson City
- Agri-Business Development Team VI Jefferson City
- 229th Multifunctional Medical Battalion Jefferson City
- 835th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion Jefferson City
- 1137th Military Police Company Kennett
- 35th Combat Aviation Brigade Sedalia
- 935th Aviation Support Group Springfield
- Detachment 3, 185th Theater Aviation Company (C-23) Springfield
- Detachment 3, Company F, 1-169th Aviation (MEDEVAC) Springfield
- 3175th Chemical Company St. Peters
- 548th Transportation Company Trenton
- Company C, Aviation Support Group Warrensburg
- 1/135th Aviation Battalion (Elements) Whiteman AFB

Air National Guard Units Deployed Fiscal Year 2012
- 131st Bomb Wing Whiteman AFB
- 139th Airlift Wing St. Joseph
- 121st Civil Air Control Squadron St. Louis
- 157th Air Operations Group St. Louis


Military Police

Military Police are prepared to assist civil authorities during stateside emergencies like the June 2008 floods and conduct a wide range law and order-related overseas missions. The Missouri National Guard has two Military Police Battalions - the 205th and 175th - under the command and control of 70th Troop Command. Since Sept. 11, 2001, every Missouri Military Police Company has been mobilized overseas to Iraq, Afghanistan or Kosovo.



So much for the hopes for de-escalation and demilitarization.

Sanctimony 101: Parodying a Well-Known, Likely Misquotation of Steinbeck

The Parody:

"Justice for torture victims never was considered as more than a mere manifestation of sanctimony in America because the oligarchy sees torture not as an execrable war crime but simply as an understandable reflex of temporarily frightened patriots."

--a parody of a well-known, likely misquotation of John Steinbeck

The Likely Misquotation:

To wit: "Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires." -- John Steinbeck


The Possible Source:

America and Americans and Selected Nonfiction
By John Steinbeck


Except for the field organizers of strikes, who were pretty tough monkeys and devoted, most of the so-called Communists I met were middle-class, middle-aged people playing a game of dreams. I remember a woman in easy circumstances saying to another even more affluent: "After the revolution even we will have more, won't we, dear?" Then there was another lover of proletarians who used to raise hell with Sunday picnickers on her property.

I guess the trouble was that we didn't have any self-admitted proletarians. Everyone was a temporarily embarrassed capitalist. Maybe the Communists so closely questioned by investigation committees were a danger to America, but the ones I knew -- at least they claimed to be Communists -- couldn't have disrupted a Sunday-school picnic. Besides they were too busy fighting among themselves.



The United States of America did NOT torture "...some folks."

"We" tortured individual persons. To wit: each measure of liquid in waterboarding did not nebulously affect some abstract and ill-defined group - each drop affected a single person's ability to breathe.

Measure by measure, second by second, breath by desperate breath, these people then became "our" torture VICTIMS. Regardless of whatever else those people may or may have not done, they are now and always will be the VICTIMS of our government's torture program. That is "our" relationship to them.

This is not sanctimony - it is consistency. Torture is fundamentally wrong and is a war crime. George Bush and his thugs are war criminals and should be prosecuted.

President Obama on Torture: "...Hopefully We Don't Do It Again In The Future."

In case anyone would like to see President Obama's recent remarks (August 1, 2014) on torture, here is the segment (about 4 minutes) of the White House video that deals with it:

This excerpt is from the longer video (about 48 minutes) of the press conference that is located here:

"...Hopefully we don't do it again in the future..." is apparently all there is to say.

A New Way to Pay for a Year of University?

Iowa offers free tuition for 5 student season ticket owners
Mitchell Schmidt
Iowa City Press-Citizen
10:54 p.m. CDT July 29, 2014

A handful of University of Iowa students will be getting much more than a gameday experience at Kinnick Stadium when they purchase their fall football tickets. Five lucky Hawkeyes also will receive two semesters of free tuition.

UI has pledged free tuition to five randomly selected, current in-state students who purchase a six-game or seven-game season ticket by Friday. Winners will receive free tuition — valued at about $8,000 — for the fall 2014 and spring 2015 semesters.

The goal of the generous giveaway is to draw enthusiastic student fans to Kinnick, said Lisa Pearson, director of marketing for the UI Athletics Department, and is the result of sluggish season ticket sales this year.

“The fans in the stadium really feed off the energy from students, so we’d like to have a full student section,” Pearson said Tuesday. “We’re trying to get as many students into the stadium as possible.”



Has the UI Athletic Department broken new ground here or is this practice common at other universities?

Is this effectively equivalent to a UI athletic scholarship for being a lucky-season-ticket-holding-in-state-tuition-paying football fan?

At any rate, this just seems perverse to me.

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