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LongTomH

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Member since: Wed Oct 13, 2004, 05:42 PM
Number of posts: 6,611

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NASA Marks Earth Day With #24/7 Celebration

Join NASA for a #24Seven Celebration of Earth Day:

On April 22, NASA will post about 200 images across nearly 100 different social media channels that capture the breadth of the agency’s 24-hour-a-day work to study Earth. The images were captured during the week of March 27, but have been assembled chronologically to tell a story of a “day in the life” of NASA’s Earth science work. The time-stamped posts -- hashtagged #24Seven -- will begin publishing at 12:01 a.m. EDT and will continue throughout the day.

Share your posts on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #24Seven, or on our Facebook Event page.We know we aren’t the only people working to safeguard and understand our home planet. As you celebrate Earth Day, we’re asking you to share on social media what you’re doing to mark the day and celebrate our fragile home in space.

Share your posts on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #24Seven, or on our Facebook Event page.

...............//snip

How can I take part?

Millions of people will take time out of their day this April 22 to do their part to make Earth a better place. Others will mark the day by spending it outside, celebrating the beauty, ruggedness and life-giving elements that make Earth our home in the solar system.

Take a picture or a short video of whatever Earth-focused activity you are doing on Earth Day and post it on social media with the hashtag #24Seven. Pictures and videos can be posted to Twitter, Instagram and to the official NASA Facebook Event page.

Begin posting at 6 a.m. EDT on April 21 – which marks the beginning of Earth Day on the international date line at Samoa and Christmas Island, Kiribati – and continue posting until 8 a.m. EDT on April 23, which marks the end of Earth Day on the other side of the international date line at Baker Island.


Some of the first images from NASA's 24/Seven Earth Day Celebration:









Gallery of Pics from the Marches for Low-Wage Workers in Kansas City

There was a day of strikes, protests and marches in Kansas City Thursday. The movement was originally started for fast-food workers in 2013; since then, janitors, child-care workers, hospital workers and even adjunct professors have joined the movement.

There are protests going on in 300 US cities and 40 countries. The demands are the same:
  • A decent, living wage - $15 in the US,
  • The right to unionize,
  • Affordable child care.
















Voyage to Planet Nine

The Centauri Dreams blog can be a fun place to visit; subject range from planetary science to Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence to interstellar travel. Their most recent post is speculation on missions to the hypothetical 'Planet Nine' way out in the 'burbs of the solar system. The author, Adam Crowl is a member of the Icarus Interstellar project to redesign the Daedalus interstellar probe, proposed by the British Interplanetary Society in the late '70s.

In The Snowbank Orbit, Redux, Adam speculates about the hypothetical planet and how a future mission might not only reach the planet, but go into orbit around it:

Fritz Leiber is better known for his fantasy and SF-fantasy, but he could write hard-SF too. A fine example is his 1962 story, “The Snowbank Orbit”, the title of which alludes to World War II tales of pilots surviving bailouts without parachutes by plunging into snow-drifts. Five spacecraft, racing towards Uranus at 100 miles per second with empty tanks, intend a fiery plunge through the planet’s atmosphere to brake into orbit. The rest of that story I will leave to the interested reader (available here) but the idea of aerobraking into orbit around a distant Planet Nine is worth discussing.

Presently we know very little about Telisto – the mellifluous name suggested for Planet Nine by physicist Lorenzo Iorio which I’ll use for convenience. Brown & Batygin suggest an orbit averaging about 700 AU and a mass of at least 10 Earth masses. The mass could be somewhat higher, though certainly not of the order of a Saturn-mass as its infra-red glow would’ve been seen by earlier surveys. Modelling suggests a 10 Earth-mass planet, with a substantial hydrogen-helium envelope, could be as ‘warm’ as 50 K – about 40 degrees warmer than the ~10 K from sunlight alone. A range of compositions were modelled. A Super-Earth, an Ice-Giant (like Uranus/Neptune) and a miniature version of Jupiter/Saturn are all possible. Some cosmogonic simulations suggest a Neptune like object is likely to have been flung from amongst the other giant planets during their formation, so it seems the most likely option.

A Neptune-like Telisto would then be an ice-wrapped rocky core wrapped in a layer of captured hydrogen/helium mixture. It’s likely that hydrogen will be depleted from its atmosphere by some fraction being chemically bound and mixed with its core, so helium will be a higher fraction of the atmosphere, as appears to be the case for Neptune. If the atmosphere is a small fraction of Telisto’s mass, then it’s possible it will have an icy surface or even a liquid water ocean under a hydrogen atmosphere via its greenhouse effect trapping the planet’s internal heat. In that case Telisto will be very interesting from an astrobiological perspective, though the energy sources available to sustain life are impossible to quantify at present.


Adam, and others, are already thinking about how a future probe might reach Tellisto and set up orbit around it.

Deep Space Propulsion

Given sufficient motivation we’ll send a probe and eventually follow in person. Getting there will be a challenge. At the present 3.5 AU/year of “Voyager 1” the journey would take 200 years. Leiber’s 100 miles per second would get a probe there in 20 years, which might be acceptable if the probe has a compelling secondary mission it can pursue during the long cruise phase. Long baseline telescopic observations might be sufficiently attractive to combine the two. A flyby at 100 miles per second is probably too quick to provide sufficient science return for the investment, so stopping will be required.


The article discusses various means of propulsion, including ion engines powered by advanced forms of nuclear reactors and various sails: lightsails, 'e-sails' and magsails. I'm disappointed that Adam didn't include the VASIMR (Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket engine), which might have advantages over ion engines.

Adam suggests the proposed Telisto probe use a aerobraking to slow enough to enter orbit around the planet.

Let's start a Bernie Playlist in celebration of Victory!!!!!

I've been hearing these tunes at Bernie Rallies ever since Iowa:

Muse: Uprising


Neil Young: Rockin' in the Free World:


Power to the People


Please add your your choices.......

President Cthulhu?????

Could Cthulhu trump the other Super Tuesday contenders?:

A mighty bruiser is rising in the US presidential race, aiming to lead the country into ‘a new golden age of mass sacrifice and unmentionable horror’

If you thought Donald Trump in the White House was your worst US presidential election nightmare, think again: none other than HP Lovecraft’s slime-encrusted cosmic horror Cthulhu is running in the 2016 election.

But what do voters need to know on this Super Tuesday about the tentacled candidate who aims to blow open the two-party race? The aspiring leader has a usefully informative website for those interested. Here we learn that like the current Oval Office incumbent, Cthulhu – who is standing on the “eldritch horror” ticket – hails from an island in the Pacific. It’s not Hawaii, though: it’s R’lyeh, the lost sunken city where, according to Lovecraft, Cthulhu waits to take control of the world.

And there’s no point asking to see his passport … millennia-old Cthulhu predates such bona fides. In fact, he predates countries. And people. So why the US – and why now?

I tracked down his campaign manager Eminence Waite to find out. “His influence on US history is subtle but potent; from stock market crashes to rising global tensions. He has been a part of our nation from its inception,” Waite says. “His presidential campaign is about unleashing an unending wave of insanity. He has selected the US population as his chosen people and he will lead them to a new golden age of mass sacrifice and unmentionable horror.”

Loving Vincent: A beautiful tribute to Vincent van Gogh



Loving Vincent will be a totally hand-painted animated film tribute to the beloved painter.

Here's the website for the film.

What are you actively doing for your chosen candidate?

Please note: I am saying nothing against any candidate, and I am certainly not telling anyone to leave the Democratic Party, just the opposite, as you'll see if you follow my posts in the next few days. I just want people to check in and say what they're actively doing for their chosen candidate.

Please note also: I have taken care to word questions about activity for both candidates exactly the same:

Pics from last weeks: "A Future to Believe In" rally in Kansas City

From Bernie Sanders spoke at Kansas City's Bartle Hall last Wednesday, to a crowd estimated to be at least 1,7000.

The sidewalks were already packed by the time the doors opened officially at 11:00AM.


(Ahem) The grey-haired dude in this second picture is me, helping people in the crowd sign 'Commit to Vote' cards for the March 15 primary. Other Bernie volunteers were getting people to sign 'Commit to Caucus' cards for March 5.


What a beautiful crowd!!!! Young and old, straight and gay!





Bernie was on fire, as usual, and the crowd loved it!!!!






After the rally, volunteers signed up attendees to phonebank for Bernie.



Bernie Sanders at the Woody Guthrie Museum in Tulsa

Dayum!!!!! I'm a Tulsa expat, and I didn't know about the Woody Guthrie Museum. I guess it was built after I left.

This Land is Your Land

Bernie Sanders arrived in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Wednesday and made an impromptu stop at The Woody Guthrie Center, a museum dedicated to the life and legacy of American folk musician and singer-songwriter

“Woody Guthrie is one of the greatest musicians and songwriters in American history,” Sanders said after touring the museum and archives. “His songs spoke to the reality of working-class people and it is incredible how much his music lives on in this country and throughout the world. In fact, on a number of occasions we have used his iconic song – This Land is Your Land – as part of our campaign. I was excited to see this beautiful museum dedicated to a man who was raised in Oklahoma.”








Oh, God! Do I love this image:

Trump: "We Should Kill Muslims With Bullets Dipped in Pigs' Blood"

Donald Trump just keeps going lower and lower. Now, he's quoting an incident which apparently didn't happen as an example of how to deal with Muslim extremists:

In a bizarre 11th hour demand for attention before the crucial South Carolina presidential primaries, Republican front-runner Donald Trump attempted to proverbially jump the political shark for the umpteenth time, citing a horrifying hoax chain email myth as an apparent national security policy while doubling down on his support for reinstating the illegal torture program.

Trump regaled his audience with the tall tale of U.S. General John Joseph “Black Jack” Pershing, who served in America’s turn-of-the-century colonial wars in the Philippines and in particular, the repression of the Moro Rebellion by ethnic Filipino Muslims. “He was a rough guy!” said Trump, before telling the audience that:

He caught 50 terrorists who did tremendous damage…and he took the 50 terrorists and he took 50 men and dipped 50 bullets in pig’s blood. You heard about that? He took 50 bullets and dipped them in pig’s blood . And he has his men load up their rifles and he lined up the 50 people and they shot 49 of those people. And the 50th person, he said, you go back to your people and you tell them what happened. And for 25 years there wasn’t a problem.

There are so many problems with this statement it’s hard to know where to begin. Firstly, they weren’t terrorists, the Moro were fighting for their independence against a colonial power who had “won” the islands as part of a settlement from a separate war. Secondly, the whole story is an utter myth that was widely circulated among the inboxes of terrified conservatives after the September 11th terrorist attacks but has been discounted as a ridiculous legend by fact-checking website Snopes. Thirdly, a cursory look at a history book will tell you that far from 25 years of peace, the Moro Rebellion continued until the outbreak of the Second World War, when the islands were seized by Japan.

At the Nuremberg trials, murder of prisoners of war was labeled a War Crime.

The constant right-wing dehumanization of Muslims is as appalling as it is short-sighted. The “terrorist” has become less than sub-human for the racial and religious supremacists in the Republican Party, an existential boogeyman that does nothing but plot against the United States, jealous of our “freedoms” and our prosperity. Trump and his cronies only see the people of the Middle East as tools to be exploited or vermin to be extinguished; they refuse to acknowledge our own role in provoking these conflicts – and how much ignorant and hateful statements by our politicians exacerbate the divide and put our nation in further danger.


For those with strong stomachs, there's a video of Trump's horrible diatribe.

Read more: http://www.occupydemocrats.com/2016/02/20/trump-we-should-kill-muslims-with-bullets-dipped-in-pigs-blood-video/
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