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Member since: Tue Nov 9, 2004, 11:55 PM
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Sleater-Kinney announce first new album in a decade, No Cities to Love

Source: Guardian

Released on 19 January via Sub Pop Records, Corin Tucker, Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss recorded their eighth studio album secretly at Tiny Telephone Recordings in San Francisco at the start of the year, with some extra sessions taking place at Kung Fu Bakery Recording Studios in Portland, and Electrokitty Recording in Seattle. It is produced by John Goodmanson, who worked on four previous Sleater-Kinney albums.


The new album also comes backed by a tour of north America and Europe, which begins in February 2015 and includes four UK dates, stopping by at London’s Forum in March.


Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/oct/20/sleater-kinney-announce-first-new-album-decade-no-cities-to-love


Sleater-Kinney is a American rock band that formed in Olympia, Washington in 1994. ... They were a key part of the riot grrrl and indie rock scenes in the Pacific Northwest. The band was known for its feminist and left-leaning politics.


On the topic of the band's involvement in political movements, Carrie Brownstein was quoted, "Sleater-Kinney are brave enough and strong enough to make a difference and get the word out.” The band's musical style went along with the liberal and feminist ideas heard in their lyrics.


Corin Tucker's emotional vocals and the band's lyrics alternate between personal and political topics, rebelling against war, traditionalism, gender roles and consumerism from feminist and progressive perspectives. Sleater-Kinney contributed the protest song "Off With Your Head" to NOFX leader Fat Mike's Rock Against Bush compilation.



Riot grrrl is an underground feminist punk rock movement that originally started in the early 1990s ... It is often associated with third-wave feminism, which is sometimes seen as its starting point. ... a musical movement in which women could express themselves in the same way men had been doing for the past several years.

Riot grrrl bands often address issues such as rape, domestic abuse, sexuality, racism, patriarchy, and female empowerment. ... In addition to a music scene and genre, riot grrrl is a subculture involving a DIY ethic, zines, art, political action, and activism. Riot grrrls are known to hold meetings, start chapters, and support and organize women in music.


NASA infrared movie of Falcon 9 first stage separation, boost-back, and re-entry.

This is fucking cool.

Commercial Rocket Test Helps Prep for Journey to Mars
NASA.gov Video
Published on Oct 17, 2014

NASA successfully captured thermal images of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on its descent after it launched in September from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The data from these thermal images may provide critical engineering information for future missions to the surface of Mars.

Via http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35870.0

More info here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1016104706

NASA, SpaceX Share Data On Supersonic Retropropulsion
Data-sharing deal will help SpaceX land Falcon 9 on Earth and NASA put humans on Mars
Oct 16, 2014 Frank Morring, Jr. | Aviation Week & Space Technology

An innovative partnership between NASA and SpaceX is giving the U.S. space agency an early look at what it would take to land multi-ton habitats and supply caches on Mars for human explorers, while providing sophisticated infrared (IR) imagery to help the spacecraft company develop a reusable launch vehicle.


“This is the kind of thing that NASA couldn’t have done five years ago,” says Braun, who was chief technologist for the agency in 2010-11.

He learned that the hard way. After returning to Georgia Tech, Braun—a specialist in entry, descent and landing (EDL)—worked with engineers from the university and various NASA centers to develop a proposal for a $50 million sounding-rocket program to flight-test supersonic retropropulsion (AW&ST May 20, 2013, p. 30).

NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) rejected the plan “because of its cost,” Braun says. But the agency still needs a way to land payloads weighing more than 20 tons to support a human expedition to Mars, leading Braun and his colleagues to find common cause with SpaceX.


Watching Siding Spring's encounter with Mars


Watching Siding Spring's encounter with Mars
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla
2014/10/17 21:11 UTC

The nucleus of comet Siding Spring passes close by Mars on Sunday, October 19, at 18:27 UTC. Mars passes through the densest part of the comet's tail about 100 minutes later. All five orbiters at Mars will be in constant contact with the Madrid and then Goldstone Deep Space Network facilities, just to make sure they're okay. One-way light time to Mars right now is just under 14 minutes. There are tons and tons of scientific observations planned by Mars orbiters, Mars rovers, and Earth-based observatories. In fact, most of the facilities that are planning to observe Siding Spring have already begun their work, and will continue observation for days after the encounter.

What to expect on Sunday? It's not like a Mars landing; there won't be a single moment when a bunch of serious-looking engineers suddenly erupt into cheers. Instead, there'll be many smaller, non-televised moments as instrument teams receive their data from far-flung spacecraft and telescopes, spread out over the next several days. For the most part, the images of the comet won't be instant classics; many will show only a single pixel, or a faint smudge. Some of the data won't even arrive on Earth until the middle of next week. Most will require careful calibration and processing before they can be released, because they're being taken by spacecraft being used in unusual ways. None of them will look like the artist's visualization above. I will watch for images and post them over the coming week.

But the flyby is a big deal and I know people will want to follow it in real time, if only to be space fans enjoying a big space event at the same space time, so here are some suggestions for how you can do that. I will be checking in via Twitter over the weekend, and so will Bruce Betts; you can just follow us or try searching on the hashtags #MarsComet or #SidingSpring. And here are links to some webcasts and useful resources. I'll add more as I find them; please feel free to add links in the comments, too.


  • Amateur astronomer Peter Lake, will broadcast from the iTelescope.net Observatory (Q62) at Siding Spring, though closest approach won't be visible from Australia (broadcast starts at 03:00 PT / 10:00 UT)

  • Astronomer Gianluca Masi will broadcast from the virtualtelescope.eu observatory (broadcast starts at 08:45 PT / 16:45 UT)

  • ESA Livestream with lots of experts (broadcast starts at 10:50 PT / 17:50 UT)

  • Slooh has two broadcasts, one during closest approach (starts 11:15 PT / 18:15 UT) and one afterward (17:30 PT / 01:30 UT). The later one will feature Bob Berman and David Grinspoon answering questions from Twitter using the #SloohComet hashtag.


Finally, I need to share a sad blog post I read today: the dark skies above Siding Spring observatory, where this and other comets were discovered, are under threat by development of coal seam gas mining in its vicinity:

As comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) passes Mars, comet discoverers with current or previous involvement with Siding Spring Observatory are concerned about the future of the Observatory. The viability of Siding Spring Observatory in Coonabarabran, NSW, Australia, is threatened due to the intention of Santos to develop industrial scale CSG (Coal Seam Gas) mining in its vicinity. The effect of light pollution from gas flaring and security and operational lighting, in addition to airborne dust and industrial contaminants, could threaten the dark sky status of Australia's largest optical observatory complex, the home to many Australian and International telescopes. Dust and pollutants in the atmosphere increase reflected light and can have a detrimental effect on telescope optics.

End of remarkable synod sees pontiff beatify Pope Paul VI

Source: Associated Press

Pope Francis on Sunday beatified Pope Paul VI, concluding the remarkable meeting of bishops debating family issues that drew parallels to the tumultuous reforms of the Second Vatican Council which Paul oversaw and implemented.

Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI was on hand for the Mass, which took place just hours after Catholic bishops approved a document charting a more pastoral approach to ministering to Catholic families.

They failed to reach consensus on the two most divisive issues at the synod: on welcoming gays and divorced and civilly remarried couples. But the issues remain up for discussion ahead of another meeting of bishops next year.

While the synod scrapped its ground-breaking welcome and showed deep divisions on hot-button issues, the fact that the questions are on the table is significant given that they had been taboo until Francis' papacy.


Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/end-of-remarkable-synod-sees-pontiff-beatify-pope-paul-vi/

US was prepared 'to use nuclear weapons against North Korea' if troops crossed border


US was prepared 'to use nuclear weapons against North Korea' if troops crossed border
Heather Saul
Thursday 16 October 2014

The US was prepared to use nuclear weapons if North Korean forces crossed the border into South Korea, the former CIA Director and Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has claimed in his memoir.

In a passage published in Newsweek from his autobiographical book Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace, Mr Panetta recalled a briefing in 2010 by the commander of US forces in South Korea.

During this briefing in Seoul, he said General Walter L. “Skip” Sharp suggested the US would use nuclear weapons if necessary in the event that North Korea moved across the demilitarised zone.

“If North Korea moved across the border, our war plans called for the senior American general on the peninsula to take command of all US and South Korea forces and defend South Korea— including by the use of nuclear weapons, if necessary,” Mr Panetta wrote.

“I left our meeting with the powerful sense that war in that region was neither hypothetical nor remote, but ever-present and imminent.”


Nuclear reactor heat turned down to stop boilers cracking

Source: Telegraph

Power output at two UK nuclear plants will be curbed for up to two years in order to reduce the heat in their boilers and prevent cracks developing, EDF has announced.

The two twin-reactor plants at Heysham 1 and Hartlepool have been shut down since August amid safety fears following the discovery of cracks in one boiler structure at Heysham.

The ageing reactors are likely to be restarted in coming months at just 75pc-80pc of their usual output in order to prevent high temperatures causing further cracks, EDF said on Friday.

The move will further worsen the risk of power shortages this winter and next.

The temporary closure of the plants, which produce enough power to meet about 4pc of peak winter demand, has already forced National Grid to invoke emergency measures to bolster power supplies this winter, by paying mothballed power stations to fire up.


Read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/11169625/Nuclear-reactor-heat-turned-down-to-stop-boilers-cracking.html

New medal honors nuclear deterrence service


New medal honors nuclear deterrence service
By Jon Harper
Stars and Stripes
Published: October 15, 2014

Nuclear Deterrence Service Operations Medal graphic
An illustration of the new Nuclear Deterrence Service Operations Medal.

WASHINGTON — Current and former airmen could be eligible for the new Nuclear Deterrence Service Operations Medal.

Servicemembers may receive the award if they were assigned, deployed or mobilized to a wing, center or smaller unit in support of the nuclear enterprise for 120 consecutive days or 179 nonconsecutive days, according to an Air Force press release.

The medal will be worn with an “N” device for airmen deployed to a missile complex for 179 nonconsecutive days in direct support of intercontinental ballistic missile operations. The same holds true for personnel directly supporting operations of nuclear-armed aircraft. Only one “N” device may be worn, but an oak leaf cluster can be worn for subsequent awards, the Air Force said.


Eligibility for the medal is retroactive to Dec. 27, 1991, which means that former airmen who served decades ago may also receive it. Those who have left the service and meet the criteria for the award can request the medal through the Air Force Personnel Center’s recognition section for validation. Family members of deceased airmen can also contact AFPC for information about how their loved one might be awarded the medal posthumously.

The medal, which has been designed, is projected to become available in March 2015.

The new award, first announced in May, was created after an internal review determined that many airmen involved in the nuclear enterprise felt ignored and underappreciated in the post-Cold War era in which nuclear combat is considered a remote possibility. The review was prompted by a scandal in which nearly a hundred officers were implicated in a cheating ring surrounding nuclear launch tests.


If you know anyone who might be eligible, encourage them to apply.

Record cesium level detected in Fukushima No. 1 groundwater; Tepco blames heavy rainfall

Source: Jiji

A record 264,000 becquerels of radioactive cesium per liter has been detected in groundwater at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station, Tokyo Electric Power Co. disclosed Saturday.

The sample was taken Thursday from an observation well near reactor 2 reactor of the plant, which was destroyed by the March 2011 quake and tsunami.

According to Tepco, recent heavy rains pushed up the levels of groundwater, causing it to reach soil containing highly radioactive water leaked earlier from the plant’s crippled reactors.

The per liter level of cesium-137 rose to 200,000 becquerels from 190,000 becquerels in groundwater sampled from the same well on Wednesday. The cesium-134 level was unchanged at 64,000 becquerels.


Read more: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/10/18/national/science-health/record-cesium-level-detected-in-fukushima-no-1-groundwater-tepco-blames-heavy-rainfall/

Sendai reactors vulnerable to eruptions, state-picked volcanologist warns

Source: Associated Press

A prominent volcanologist disputed regulators’ conclusion that two nuclear reactors are safe from a volcanic eruption in the next few decades, saying Friday that such a prediction is impossible.

A cauldron eruption at one of several volcanoes surrounding the Sendai nuclear plant in Kagoshima Prefecture could not only hit the reactors, but also cause a nationwide disaster, said Toshitsugu Fujii, a professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo who heads a state-commissioned panel on eruption prediction.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority last month said two Sendai reactors fulfilled tougher safety requirements set after the 2011 Fukushima crisis began.

The NRA ruled out a major eruption over the next 30 years until the reactors reach the end of their usable life span.

The surprise eruption of Mount Ontake on the border of Gifu and Nagano prefectures on Sept. 27 has renewed concerns about the volcanoes in the region.

“It is simply impossible to predict an eruption over the next 30 to 40 years,” Fujii said. “The level of predictability is extremely limited.”


Read more: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/10/18/national/science-health/reactor-safety-near-japans-volcanoes-disputed-by-prominent-expert/

The nuclear industry is based on denial and corruption of science.
Neocon Abe is using a lot of political pressure to get these dirty dangerous unnecessary reactors restarted.

Nine books that Steve Jobs thought everyone should read


Nine books that Steve Jobs thought everyone should read
Drake Baer, Business Insider | October 14, 2014


By combining tech and the liberal arts, Jobs said that Apple was able to “to make extremely advanced products from a technology point of view, but also have them be intuitive, easy-to-use, fun-to-use, so that they really fit the users.”

Jobs arrived at that perspective through a lifetime of reading, as reviewed in Walter Isaacson’s biography and other places. We’ve put together a list of the books that most affected him.


‘King Lear’ by William Shakespeare

‘Moby Dick’ by Herman Melville

‘The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas’ by Dylan Thomas

‘Be Here Now’ by Ram Dass

‘Diet for a Small Planet’ by Frances Moore Lappe

‘Mucusless Diet Healing System’ by Arnold Ehret

‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ by Paramahansa Yogananda

‘Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind’ by Shunryu Suzuki

‘The Innovator’s Dilemma’ by Clayton M. Christensen


Small Planet Institute

Check out what Steve Jobs had to say about Diet For a Small Planet!

"That's when I pretty much swore off meat for good."

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