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Russia, US to Jointly Prepare Mars, Moon Flight Road Map – NASA

Source: Sputnik

Russia and the United States will work together on a roadmap to send humans to Mars and the Moon, according to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.

The Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos and its US counterpart NASA will jointly hammer out a "road map" program on flights to Mars and the Moon, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said on Saturday.

Bolden, who is currently on a tour of Russia's Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, added that he had discussed joint efforts to send missions to the Red Planet with Roscosmos head Igor Komarov, including time frames and funding.

"Our area of cooperation will be Mars. We are discussing how best to use the resources, the finance, we are setting time frames and distributing efforts in order to avoid duplication," Bolden said.


Read more: http://sputniknews.com/world/20150328/1020132249.html

Russia, US Aim to Create New Space Station After 2024 - Roscosmos Chief

Source: Sputnik

Russia and the United States plan to jointly establish a new space station after 2024 with participation of partner countries, Russian space agency Roscosmos head Igor Komarov said Saturday.

"Roscosmos and NASA will fulfil the program of building a future orbital station. We will elaborate the details. It is going to be an open project, not restricted only to current participants, but open for other countries willing to join it," Komarov said.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, who is currently on a working visit to the Baikonur cosmodrome, said that one day the International Space Station would be unable to function properly and should be replaced. Bolden stressed that both NASA and Roscosmos agreed that part of future building activities should be passed over to the private companies.


Read more: http://sputniknews.com/science/20150328/1020127456.html

Energy-related CO2 emissions leveled off and decoupled from economy

This is very important - and very good - news.


Global energy-related emissions of carbon dioxide stalled in 2014

Preliminary IEA data point to emissions decoupling from economic growth for the first time in 40 years

13 March 2015

Preliminary data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) indicate that global emissions of carbon dioxide from the energy sector stalled in 2014, marking the first time in 40 years in which there was a halt or reduction in emissions of the greenhouse gas that was not tied to an economic downturn.


Global emissions of carbon dioxide stood at 32.3 billion tonnes in 2014, unchanged from the preceding year. The IEA data suggest that efforts to mitigate climate change may be having a more pronounced effect on emissions than had previously been thought.

The IEA attributes the halt in emissions growth to changing patterns of energy consumption in China and OECD countries. In China, 2014 saw greater generation of electricity from renewable sources, such as hydropower, solar and wind, and less burning of coal. In OECD economies, recent efforts to promote more sustainable growth – including greater energy efficiency and more renewable energy – are producing the desired effect of decoupling economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions.


In the 40 years in which the IEA has been collecting data on carbon dioxide emissions, there have only been three times in which emissions have stood still or fallen compared to the previous year, and all were associated with global economic weakness: the early 1980's; 1992 and 2009. In 2014, however, the global economy expanded by 3%.


Pope cites Fukushima nuclear crisis as a modern-day Tower of Babel


Pope cites Fukushima nuclear crisis as a modern-day Tower of Babel
March 25, 2015
By YUKIE YAMAO/ Correspondent

ROME--Pope Francis warned against the dangers of arrogance in comparing the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant crisis to the biblical Tower of Babel, in a talk held with Japanese bishops in the Vatican.

"Mankind can become arrogant and create a society convenient to them, driven by an egotistical motive," Francis told members of the Bishops of Japan on March 20, according to Takeo Okada, archbishop of Tokyo. "Acts thought to help mankind are ending up destroying themselves."

The pope also warned that the production and export of arms is the most destructive threat to civilization, stating that "the problem lies in how massive wealth is created through them."

The Japanese bishops issued a message in February to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, in which they expressed concern over groups that deny wartime atrocities and the Abe administration's efforts to alter Article 9 of Japan's pacifist Constitution to allow the nation to exercise the right to collective self-defense.


An apt metaphor.

New House Bill Would Gut Patriot Act, Protect Whistleblowers


New House Bill Would Gut Patriot Act, Protect Whistleblowers
by Karl Bode 12:56PM Wednesday Mar 25 2015 Tipped by tschmidt

Reps. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) this week unveiled the Surveillance State Repeal Act (pdf), which would dramatically reform the nation's growing intelligence surveillance apparatus. Among other things, the proposal takes specific aim at the long-controversial Patriot Act, which allowed for the mass collection of domestic data in order to fight terrorism. Pocan and Massie's proposal would also prevent the government from forcing companies to include backdoors in tech products.

The proposal would also repeal the 2008 FISA Amendments Act, which has historically aided the government when it comes to wide-ranging collection of user data over the Internet.

In addition the Act would provide significant new protections for whistleblowers like Edward Snowden, NSA employee William Binney, or former AT&T employee Mark Klein, who disclosed how the telcos were allowing wholesale government access to every shred of data that touches their networks.

"Revelations about the NSA's programs reveal the extraordinary extent to which the program has invaded Americans' privacy," Pocan said in a prepared statement. "I reject the notion that we must sacrifice liberty for security -- we can live in a secure nation which also upholds a strong commitment to civil liberties. This legislation ends the NSA's dragnet surveillance practices, while putting provisions in place to protect the privacy of American citizens through real and lasting change."

U.S. losing 'information war' to Russia, other rivals; EU gears up for propaganda war with Russia

Get ready for an inundation of anti-Russia propaganda...


U.S. losing 'information war' to Russia, other rivals: study
By Warren Strobel
WASHINGTON Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:23am EDT

(Reuters) - The United States is losing an information war to Russia, Islamic State and other rivals, says a new report that calls for a strengthening in U.S. counter-propaganda efforts and an overhaul of the government's international broadcasting arm.



EU gears up for propaganda war with Russia
By Francesco Guarascio
BRUSSELS Thu Mar 19, 2015 7:24pm EDT

(Reuters) - The European Union is set to launch a first operation in a new propaganda war with Russia within days of EU leaders giving formal approval to the campaign at a summit on Thursday.

Officials told Reuters that a dozen public relations and communications experts would start work by the end of March in Brussels with a brief to counter what the EU says is deliberate misinformation coordinated by the Kremlin over Moscow's role and aims in Ukraine and elsewhere in Europe.

It is the first stage of a plan that leaders want EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to finalize by June, which may include efforts to produce and share Russian-language broadcast programming, notably for ethnic Russians in ex-Soviet states.


Queensland researchers prove Albert Einstein wrong

Source: The Australian

Scientists have achieved the rare distinction of proving Albert Einstein wrong, in a demonstration of the now widely accepted theory of quantum mechanics.

Researchers from Queensland and Japan have resolved a longstanding hurdle to the 91-year-old theory — Einstein’s 1927 thought experiment that disparaged quantum mechanics as “spooky action at a distance”.

The new study, published overnight in the journal Nature Communications, could also help researchers develop ultra-secure means of communicating.


Five years ago, the Griffith team conceived a way to “rigorously test” Einstein’s objection — splitting a single photon between two laboratories, and experimentally testing whether measurement in one laboratory caused a change in the photon’s quantum state in the other laboratory.


Read more: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/queensland-researchers-prove-albert-einstein-wrong/story-e6frg8y6-1227276909773

If the article is paywalled, try the links on their official twitter feed:


The AustralianVerified account ‏@australian

Queensland researchers prove Albert Einstein wrong http://bit.ly/1Hw9Dub

View on web http://t.co/wmjnHlTac9

Amy's recalls organic meals because of listeria concerns

Source: USA Today

A manufacturer of natural and organic frozen foods is voluntarily recalling some of its meals because of the possible presence of listeria.

Amy's Kitchen of Petaluma, Calif., said a source for its spinach may have received contaminated produce. Although no one has complained of illness, the private company that makes all-vegetarian products without eggs or peanuts is recalling nearly 74,000 cases of lasagnas, pizzas, enchiladas, wraps and scrambles.

Amy's Kitchen was founded in 1987 by Rachel and Andy Berliner and named after their then-toddler daughter, according to information on the company's website. It has 1,900 employees and makes more than 250 products in plants in Santa Rosa, Calif.; Medford, Ore.; and Pocatello, Idaho.

Contaminated food is the biggest source of listeria in people's homes, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Unlike most bacteria, listeria bacteria can grow in the refrigerator and spread from one surface to another potentially contaminating other foods.


Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2015/03/24/amys-kitchen-recall-listeria/70372534/

I love Amy's food!

Russia delivers nuclear warning to Denmark

Source: Financial Times

Russia has threatened Denmark with a nuclear strike if it takes part in Nato’s missile shield, in some of the most incendiary comments yet directed at a member of the military alliance.

Russia’s ambassador to Denmark wrote in a newspaper opinion piece that the Nordic country had not fully understood the consequences of signing up to the Nato missile defence programme.

“If it happens, then Danish warships will be targets for Russia’s nuclear weapons. Denmark will be part of the threat to Russia,” Mikhail Vanin wrote in Jyllands-Posten.

The dramatic threat cranks up further Russian pressure on countries in the Baltic region. Russian aircraft have violated the airspace of Estonia, Finland and Sweden and were involved in two near misses last year with passenger aircraft taking off from Copenhagen.


Read more: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/646064c8-d07a-11e4-a840-00144feab7de.html

Spineless attacks on nuclear power plants could increase


Spineless attacks on nuclear power plants could increase
Natalie Kopytko 02/19/2015

Nuclear power plants increasingly face a new enemy: the humble jellyfish.


The problem is not entirely a new one in the energy industry; the first known jellyfish “attack” on a (coal-fired) power plant happened in 1937, in Australia. But while biological fouling has long been an issue, the number of such events has been on the increase in the past five years or so, and could increase further because of environmental change. The sheer number and size of the animals seems to be increasing as well; in some incidents, there have been more jellyfish than water, jellyfish biologist and senior marine scientist Monty Graham of southern Alabama’s Dauphin Island Sea Lab has reported. Sometimes, the jellyfish concentrations can be quite dramatic, with as many as 50 to 100 of the animals per cubic meter of water. News photos show jellyfish taken from power plant intakes filling containers the size of the bed of a pickup truck. Occasionally, schools of jellyfish are so large and thick that they can be seen from the air, as shown in this video footage from LiveScience.


Such supposedly freak events may become even more common in the future, because of degraded environmental conditions that favor jellyfish. The Asian press has reported near-annual swarms of the massive species known as Nomura’s jellyfish (Nemopilema nomurai)—a six-foot diameter, 440-pound species that used to arrive on Japan’s coasts only about once every 40 years. Japan’s Shinichi Ue, a professor of marine science at Hiroshima University, warned in November 2014 that the world will be “in big trouble” if its leaders “fail to get serious about countermeasures against jellyfish.”


Algae, too. And jellyfish are not the only problem. Many forms of aquatic life can cause problems with the cooling water intake system at nuclear power plants. Recently, Cladophora—a taxonomic grouping that includes many similar species of green algae—have been of particular concern, causing problems at nuclear reactors along the Great Lakes multiple times.


Jellyfish economics. Biological fouling in nuclear power plants has long required monitoring, evaluation, and action. But International Atomic Energy Agency reports warn that monitoring and processes that address biological fouling will need to change, because nuisance species seem to benefit from the warmer waters caused by climate change.


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