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US Spiritual Leaders On Jeju Island


Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Nipponzan Myohoji buddhist monk Gilberto Perez (left) and Jesuit Father Bix (right) join the dance at the front gate of Jeju Island Navy base construction site. Both men are from Washington state in the US

Catholic nuns and priests join the protest at Jeju

A big event was held in Gangjeong village on Jeju Island, South Korea by the Catholic community during this past weekend. It was a celebration of two years of active Catholic resistance at the base.

Jeju Island Bishop Kang has been a tremendous supporter of the Navy base resistance effort and said about the weekend protest: "Nation exists to serve peace... [we] cannot achieve peace through war."

Two spiritual leaders from the US have recently gone to Jeju to stand in solidarity with the villagers and their supporters. Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist monk Gilberto Perez and Jesuit Father Bix are from Washington state and made the journey together to Jeju.

In recent days 88 year-old Father Bix wrote:

You would see and feel the holiness of this island ...


Gilberto Perez also wrote:


Fr. Bix becomes like a young teenager when he is resisting the empire and very funny and happy with all...A baby Buddha.

Prof. Björn Brembs: Free Will as an Evolved Brain Function

Prof. Björn Brembs is Professor of Neurogenetics at Regensburg University, he’s a prolific blogger and world authority on how the brain accomplishes adaptive behavioural choice, in other words how the brain is organised for reward, punishment and decision-making.

In this rigorous, 15 minute talk, Björn combines philosophy and science to explore the topic of determinism. Sharing his discoveries involving the spontaneous behaviour of fruitflies and leeches, he levels a compelling argument in favor of free will.

Musk: SpaceX Now Has “All the Pieces” For Truly Reusable Rockets


Musk: SpaceX Now Has “All the Pieces” For Truly Reusable Rockets

A successful flight test of the Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket on Sunday demonstrated booster-return capability on a flight to orbit. The technology could enable reusable orbital launch vehicles as early as February.

By Michael Belfiore

September 30, 2013 12:10 PM


"I believe it's the first time that any rocket stage has attempted to do a supersonic retropropulsion," Musk said in the call, referring to the rocket burn that is required to slow a spacecraft below orbital speed so that it can reenter the atmosphere. This was the first flight test of the tech SpaceX has been using in its Grasshopper testing—the company has been flying a Falcon 9 first stage with one engine on successively higher test hops at its McGregor, Texas facility, showing that the rocket could return to and land on its launchpad.

"We now believe we have all the pieces of the puzzle," Musk said on the press call. "If you take the Grasshopper tests, where we were able to do a precision takeoff and landing of a Falcon 9 first stage, and you combine it with the results from this flight—where we were able to successfully transition from vacuum through hypersonic, through supersonic, through transonic, and light the engines all the way and control the stage all the way through—we have all the pieces necessary to achieve a full recovery of the boost stage."


Recovering booster rockets intact and refurbishing them for subsequent flights is a big deal, since, as Musk said in the call, three-quarters of the cost of an Falcon 9 rocket covers the first stage. Recovering most of that initial investment could dramatically lower the cost of going to space. (SpaceX's published price for a Falcon 9 launch is $54 million.) However, there is a tradeoff. Musk told reporters yesterday that loading a Falcon 9 with enough fuel to make it reusable would result in 30 percent less payload reaching orbit if the rocket comes back for a touchdown on land or 15 percent less for a water landing.

The next orbital flight test of the Grasshopper technology is planned for the next International Space Station delivery mission for SpaceX's Dragon cargo ship, currently slated for February. If all goes well, Musk says, the first stage of the Falcon 9 used for that flight will have landing legs. The plan is to have the first stage booster touch down back at its Cape Canaveral launch site.


Space telescopes find patchy clouds on exotic world

Source: Phys Org

Kepler-7b (left), which is 1.5 times the radius of Jupiter (right), is the first exoplanet to have its clouds mapped.

Astronomers using data from NASA's Kepler and Spitzer space telescopes have created the first cloud map of a planet beyond our solar system, a sizzling, Jupiter-like world known as Kepler-7b.

The planet is marked by high clouds in the west and clear skies in the east. Previous studies from Spitzer have resulted in temperature maps of planets orbiting other stars, but this is the first look at cloud structures on a distant world.

"By observing this planet with Spitzer and Kepler for more than three years, we were able to produce a very low-resolution 'map' of this giant, gaseous planet," said Brice-Olivier Demory of Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. Demory is lead author of a paper accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. "We wouldn't expect to see oceans or continents on this type of world, but we detected a clear, reflective signature that we interpreted as clouds."


Read more: http://phys.org/news/2013-10-space-telescopes-patchy-clouds-exotic.html#nRlv

Government shutdown: Closing national parks could spark public outcry similar to 1995


Government shutdown: Closing national parks could spark public outcry similar to 1995

By Paul Rogers
09/30/2013 05:29:14 PM PDT | UPDATED: 110 MIN. AGO


During the last government shutdown, for 28 days in 1995, national park closures sparked waves of angry calls to Congress and the White House.

"Once the shutdowns began, the reaction from people who wanted access to the parks was absolutely incredible," Bruce Babbitt, who was U.S. Interior Secretary at the time, said in an interview Monday.


Public opinion eventually turned against then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Republicans in Congress who had pressed for the shutdown as part of a budget stalemate with President Bill Clinton. The shift helped Clinton rebound from low polling numbers and win re-election in 1996.

"The park closures in 1995 made a tangible difference," said Joan Anzelmo, who worked that year as a spokeswoman for Grand Teton National Park. "The visual of park rangers closing down national parks, closing down the Statue of Liberty and the Washington Monument -- keeping Americans out of these iconic American sites -- those visuals were really a strong factor in people understanding what a government shutdown meant. People got mad."


Tourists to be shut out from national parks, monuments under government shutdown

Source: Fox News

A midnight deadline to avert a shutdown passed Monday night, the National Park Service was preparing to put a closed sign around America’s national treasures.

Congress missed its deadline to keep the government running, and the National Park Services’ contingency plan states in the event of a shutdown all activities at the parks, except for necessary emergency services, would be immediately suspended and the parks would be closed indefinitely.

Not only would the public be unable to enter the parks, visitors currently camping or staying in a national park would be ordered to leave within two days and all roads leading to the parks would be closed.

Additionally, officials tell Fox News the National Park Police in Washington plan to barricade all monuments. In the case of open-air monuments that have no physical barrier, such as the World War II memorial in downtown D.C., the police would have to go to extra effort and expense to create one to keep the public out.


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/10/01/tourists-would-be-shut-out-from-national-parks-monuments-if-government-shuts/

Huge Fireball Explosion Creates Power Outage in Yucatan, Mexico

They found "parts embedded in the ground, which had crashed into power lines leaving the city without electricity."


Huge Fireball Explosion Creates Power Outage in Yucatan, Mexico

Posted by admin on 30 September 2013

Sunday evening, a weird sky phenomenon broke up the monotony of a small Maya Town as a huge object, thought to be a fireball, lit up the skies over the town of Ichmul in southern Yucatan at around 8:30 PM local time.

The falling object was accompanied by a strong thundering noise and a loud blast when it crashed onto the ground. The crash was followed by flashing blue hazes and a power outage. Than flames were observable until approximately 2 AM at the object’s landing site. The sky phenomenon was also observed in Saban, Quintana Roo, San Francisco, and Peto Chikindzonot township.


So, some courageous witnesses decided to inspect the drop area and found strange parts embedded in the ground, which had crashed into power lines leaving the city without electricity. Some locals picked up the fragments of the object and stored them at the municipal police station to determine its mysterious origin.


New York Wonders Where Nuclear Cleanup Funds Would Come From

Neither Price-Anderson nor Superfund would pay to clean up a nuclear accident in the US.


New York Wonders Where Nuclear Cleanup Funds Would Come From

By Douglas P. Guarino Global Security Newswire September 25, 2013

Who -- and what pot of money -- would drive cleanup after a severe nuclear-power-plant incident is a question still left unanswered by the federal government, New York state officials say in a recent legal filing with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.


In 2009, NRC officials informed their counterparts at the Homeland Security Department and the Environmental Protection Agency that the Price-Anderson money likely would not be available to pay for offsite cleanup -- a revelation made public a year later when internal EPA documents were released under the Freedom of Information Act.

Another three years have gone by and the federal government has yet to provide a clear answer, the New York AG office says. Last year, NRC Commissioner William Magwood acknowledged in a presentation to the Health Physics Society that “there is no regulatory framework for environmental restoration following a major radiological release.”


NRC officials have argued the Superfund law was not intended for this purpose, a position Magwood reiterated in his presentation. Industry, meanwhile, backs suggestions in a new EPA nuclear-response guide that it might not be feasible to clean up to Superfund standards.

Then-Representative Edward Markey (D-Mass.), now a U.S. senator, pressed President Obama on the issue following the onset of the Fukushima crisis in Japan in 2011. Steven Chu, then the Energy secretary, responded on behalf of the president, saying that Superfund law contained an exemption for certain radioactive materials covered by the Price-Anderson Act that could prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from responding to such an incident in its usual way.

“If such a release were determined to consist of only these specified radioactive materials (i.e., no commingling with other Superfund-regulated hazardous substances), than the [Superfund] exclusion could limit EPA’s response authority,” Chu said in a July 2011 letter to Markey. Normally, the agency can sue companies responsible for pollution under the Superfund law.


At 70, Lech Walesa Can Look Back On An Enduring Legacy


At 70, Lech Walesa Can Look Back On An Enduring Legacy

By Rikard Jozwiak
September 28, 2013

He had scaled the wall several times before, but this time it was more than just a worker evading the authorities. It was the first giant leap towards freedom for the countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

It was the morning of August 14, 1980, and Lech Walesa had just joined his fellow strikers at the Lenin shipyard in Gdansk.


It was an electrician -- with no higher education -- who had triggered what came to be seen as one of the key events leading to the downfall of communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe.


Walesa was born 70 years ago on September 29, 1943, in the small village of Popowo between Warsaw and Gdansk.


In 1970, he was one of the co-organizers of an illegal strike at the shipyard. It ended in failure and 30 dead workers but it also galvanized Walesa.


12 photos with the story.

Happy Birthday to Lech Walesa!

Kerry sees potential for quick Iran nuclear deal

Source: Reuters

Secretary of State John Kerry said a deal on Iran's nuclear program could be reached relatively quickly, and it would have the potential to dramatically improve the relationship between the two countries.

Kerry said intensifying diplomatic efforts to resolve the dispute over Iran's nuclear program could produce an agreement within the three- to six-month time frame that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has called for.

"It's possible to have a deal sooner than that depending on how forthcoming and clear Iran is prepared to be," Kerry said in an interview aired on CBS's "60 Minutes" on Sunday.


Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/30/us-iran-nuclear-usa-idUSBRE98S0IJ20130930
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