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Tuesday Toon Roundup 1- Repubs

Russian rocket takes a nosedive after launch in Kazakhstan

James Oberg and Alan Boyle NBC News

A Russian Proton-M rocket upended itself less than a minute after launch Tuesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, exploding in a fireball of toxic chemicals.

The rocket was supposed to put three of Russia's Glonass global positioning satellites into orbit, but during its ascent, it rolled over and blasted its way back downward toward the Kazakh steppes, breaking apart just before hitting the ground.

Russian news media said there were no immediate reports of injuries, but a toxic cloud of rocket fuel drifted toward the city of Baikonur, about 40 miles (64 miles) downwind. Residents were told to stay indoors and close all windows. The Interfax news service reported that areas of the Baikonur launch complex were evacuated.

"A bad failure in the highly politically sensitive program in the days of political crisis," Igor Lissov, an editor for Russia's Cosmonautics News, wrote in a posting on the independent NASASpaceflight.com discussion forum. "Pretty bad, even without casualties."



Anti-Tank Missiles Found In Leesburg; Situation Clear

It's finally quiet in the area of Rockbridge Drive SE in Leesburg this evening, following a long day for local police and fire-rescue personnel who were tasked with evaluating and moving anti-tank missiles that were discovered hidden in a garden shed.

During an 11 p.m. Channel 9 news briefing, Loudoun County Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief James Williams said authorities were alerted to the existence of the missiles at around 1:30 p.m. June 29. A homeowner cleaning out her garden shed found the missiles and contacted the authorities. Members of the Leesburg Police and Loudoun County Bomb Squad arrived on scene, assessed the situation and quickly coordinated to establish a safety perimeter.

Around 3-4 p.m., representatives from the U.S. Army were called to the 500 block of Rockbridge Drive SE, and the devices were "determined to be military ordnance—anti-tank devices probably from the Desert Storm era," Williams said.

Umstattd indicated the initial perimeter was widened to about 400 yards and approximately 100 residents were evacuated from their homes. In all such discoveries, ordnance is assumed to be live, and accordingly surrounding structures are evacuated for safety.


The Worst Marine Invasion Ever

By Christie Wilcox

"Do you know what this is?" James Morris looks at me, eyes twinkling, as he points to the guts of a dissected lionfish in his lab at the National Ocean Service’s Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research in Beaufort, N.C. I see some white chunky stuff. As a Ph.D. candidate at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, I should know basic fish biology literally inside and out. When I cut open a fish, I can tell you which gross-smelling gooey thing is the liver, which is the stomach, etc.

He's testing me, I think to myself. Morris is National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's pre-eminent scientist studying the invasion of lionfish into U.S. coastal waters. He’s the lionfish guy, and we met in person for the first time just a few days earlier. We're processing lionfish speared by local divers, taking basic measurements, and removing their stomachs for ongoing diet analyses. Not wanting to look bad, I rack my brain for an answer to his question. It's not gonads. Not spleen. I’m frustrated with myself, but I simply can't place the junk; I've never seen it before. Finally, I give up and admit that I'm completely clueless.

"It's interstitial fat."


"Fat," he says firmly. I look again. The white waxy substance hangs in globs from the stomach and intestines. It clings to most of the internal organs. Heck, there's got to be at least as much fat as anything else in this lionfish's gut. That's when I realize why he's pointing this out.

"Wait ... these lionfish are overweight?" I ask, incredulous.

"No, not overweight," he says. "Obese." The fish we're examining is so obese, he notes, that there are even signs of liver damage.

Obese. As if the lionfish problem in North Carolina wasn't bad enough.



The Making of a Monster, Caught by Accident

By Phil Plait

One of the most overwhelming things we have learned from studying astronomy in the past century—and it’s quite a list—is that entire galaxies collide.

I cannot overstate how awe-inspiring that is. A galaxy is a vast thing: a self-gravitating collection of tens or hundreds of billions of stars, countless clouds of gas and dust massive enough to create billions more stars, and all of this (not including the dark matter, which we cannot directly see) spread out over a hundred thousand light years—a million trillion kilometers.

By itself a galaxy is mind-crushing structure. But then to find that they can careen through space and physically collide with another such monster…it’s difficult to grasp the enormity of such an event.

And yet collisions happen, and they happen often. And when they do, the result can be such beauty as to make even the most jaded cynic weep:

much more

Monday Toon Roundup 4- The rest


Wendy Davis






Monday Toon Roundup 3- Rights, so long as you don't actually use them

Monday Toon Roundup 2- Rights

Monday Toon Roundup 1- The G-NO-P

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