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Journal Archives

A Cosmic Spiderweb

Once upon a time, when the Universe was just about three billion years old, galaxies started to form. Now astronomers using a CSIRO radio telescope have captured evidence of the raw materials these galaxies used to fashion their first stars… cold molecular hydrogen gas, H2. Even though we can’t see it directly, we know it is there by using another gas that reveals its presence – carbon monoxide (CO) – a radio wave emitter.

The telescope is CSIRO’s Australia Telescope Compact Array telescope near Narrabri, NSW. “It one of very few telescopes in the world that can do such difficult work, because it is both extremely sensitive and can receive radio waves of the right wavelengths,” says CSIRO astronomer Professor Ron Ekers.

One of the studies of these “raw” galaxies was performed by astronomer Dr. Bjorn Emonts of CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science. He and fellow researchers employed the Compact Array to observe and record a gigantic and distant amalgamation of “star forming clumps or proto-galaxies” which are congealing together to create a single massive galaxy. This framework is known as the “Spiderweb” and is theorized to be at least ten thousand million light years distant. The Compact Array radio telescope is capable of picking up the signature of star formation, giving astronomers vital clues about how early galaxies began star formation.

Read more: http://www.universetoday.com/103048/astronomers-spy-early-galaxies-caught-in-a-cosmic-spiderweb/

Curtain of Crepuscular Rays at Dawn

by Joseph Brimacombe
Taken from Coral Towers Observatory at 0710 local time using a Canon 5D Mk II and 600 mm lens.

The word crepuscular means “relating to twilight,” and these rays occur when objects such as mountain peaks or clouds partially shadow the Sun’s rays, usually when the Sun is low on the horizon. These rays are visible only when the atmosphere contains enough haze or dust particles so that sunlight in unshadowed areas can be scattered toward the observer.

Read more: http://www.universetoday.com/103164/astrophoto-curtain-of-crepuscular-rays-at-dawn/

Conservatives take gay marriage rulings in stride (just kidding)

Poor Bryan Fischer! The spokesman for the American Patriarchy Association has a MAJOR sad today, and he has lots of company following the Supreme Court’s decision overturning DOMA. It would appear that actually treating all marriages as equal in the eyes of the law means the end of America, which would make today roughly the 743rd time America has ended since 2008. We also see that Justice Anthony Kennedy has usurped Barack HUSSEIN Obama’s appointed role as tyrant king, which has got to be pretty disappointing for the Kenyan Impostor. And we really like that phrase “sodomy-based marriage,” which we’ll start using just as soon as Bryan Fischer starts referring to himself as a proponent of “penis-in-vagina marriage.”
Besides, as Fischer said Tuesday, there’s no marriage discrimination against The Gheys!

Read more at http://wonkette.com/520855/conservatives-take-gay-marriage-rulings-in-stride-just-kidding

Frank Rich- Is David Gregory even a Journalist?

Frank Rich on the National Circus: Gay Marriage Triumphs, Roberts Be Damned

Every week, New York Magazine writer-at-large Frank Rich talks with contributor Eric Benson about the biggest stories in politics and culture. This week: SCOTUS defeats DOMA, the Voting Rights Act suffers a mortal wound, and Obama fights back on climate change.

On Sunday, Meet the Press host David Gregory all but accused the Guardian's Glenn Greenwald of aiding and abetting Edward Snowden's fugitive travels, asking, "Why shouldn't you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?" Was Gregory over the line? And, speaking to his larger point, do you see Greenwald as a journalist or an activist in this episode? And does it matter?
Is David Gregory a journalist? As a thought experiment, name one piece of news he has broken, one beat he’s covered with distinction, and any memorable interviews he’s conducted that were not with John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Dick Durbin, or Chuck Schumer. Meet the Press has fallen behind CBS’s Face the Nation, much as Today has fallen to ABC’s Good Morning America, and my guess is that Gregory didn’t mean to sound like Joe McCarthy (with a splash of the oiliness of Roy Cohn) but was only playing the part to make some noise. In any case, his charge is preposterous. As a columnist who published Edward Snowden’s leaks, Greenwald was doing the job of a journalist — and the fact that he’s an “activist” journalist (i.e., an opinion journalist, like me and a zillion others) is irrelevant to that journalistic function. If Gregory had integrity and guts, he would have added that the journalist Barton Gellman of the Washington Post, who published the other set of Snowden leaks (and arguably more important ones), aided and abetted a crime. But it’s easier for Gregory to go after Greenwald, a self-professed outsider who is not likely to attend the White House Correspondents' Dinner and works for a news organization based in London. Presumably if Gregory had been around 40 years ago, he also would have accused the Times of aiding and abetting the enemy when it published Daniel Ellsberg’s massive leak of the Pentagon Papers. In any case, Greenwald demolished Gregory on air and on Twitter (“Who needs the government to try to criminalize journalism when you have David Gregory to do it?”). The new, incoming leadership of NBC News has a golden opportunity to revamp Sunday morning chat by making a change at Meet the Press. I propose that Gregory be full-time on Today, where he can speak truth to power by grilling Paula Deen.



Perfect Sky

From ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano comes an absolutely gorgeous view of our planet from space.

Parmitano captured this view of a cloud-covered Earth yesterday from the International Space Station. He arrived aboard humanity's orbital outpost back in May, as a member of Expedition 36. He's been tweeting photos from low-Earth orbit ever since.


Wednesday Toon Roundup 4- The Rest






Wednesday Toon Roundup 3- I Spy

Wednesday Toon Roundup 2- Repubs

Wednesday Toon Roundup 1- Shredded Voting Rights

Australia’s Leader Ousted in Vote by Her Own Party

Source: NYT

Published: June 26, 2013

SYDNEY, Australia — The former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Wednesday pulled off one of the most sensational political comebacks in this country’s history, ousting in a party vote the woman who replaced him as leader of the Labor Party in a 2010 party coup, Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

The victory by Mr. Rudd in a closed-door vote late Wednesday paves the way for an end to the rocky tenure in power for Ms. Gillard, who had called the surprise vote in an attempt to head off a challenge from his backers. Much of the momentum to reinstate Mr. Rudd came from a steady drumbeat of polls showing that the party under Ms. Gillard was almost certain to face a catastrophic loss in elections to be held in September.

Ms. Gillard became Australia’s first female prime minister in a 2010 party coup that ousted Mr. Rudd, who was derided during his tenure for an authoritarian leadership style. But she has seen her poll ratings plummet since announcing in January, unusually early, that federal elections would be held in September.

Ultimately, Ms. Gillard was never able to fully cement her position as leader, owing in part to the manner in which she came to power. She also faced a relentless political opposition that worked hard to deny her the kudos a different leader might have received under similar circumstances and with a similarly wide range of legislative accomplishments.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/27/world/asia/australia-gillard-leadership-vote.html
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