7 December 2013
Astronomy, Planets, Scientific Research
The weekend and I will do as usual….I will post on something other than the sandal du jour or the latest talking points……
The common theory is that if we re to find life elsewhere in the universe a key ingredient will be…..water. Water in various forms have been found in the planets of our solar system and the theory is that there maybe millions of other planets with this necessary ingredient……and then beyond……
(Newser) – It’s seen as more of a confirmation of theory than a startling discovery, but scientists have found water in the atmosphere of five huge planets outside our solar system. A potential sign of life? Not quite, explains the LA Times. These five gas giants (or “hot Jupiters”) are too close to their suns and thus way too hot for that. Still, researchers say the Hubble discovery is a “step forward” in the hunt for better-suited planets, reports Space.com. It’s also the first confirmed detection of such water vapor.
“It is one thing to say these planets should have water vapor and it’s another thing to actually measure it,” says a University of Maryland astronomer who co-authored the study in the Astrophysical Journal. And a NASA scientist says the discovery “really opens the door for comparing how much water is present in atmospheres on different kinds of exoplanets—for example, hotter versus cooler ones.” For the record, the five planets have the “unromantic” names of WASP-17b, HD209458b, WASP-12b, WASP-19b, and XO-1b, notes National Geographic
Good news? What will this knowledge accomplish?
6 December 2013
Fiscal Policy, Government, Politics
Budgetary Debate, GOP, Tea Party
Have you ever known some guy or gal that at every turn shoots themselves in the foot? I once had a public debate with a guy that made my points for me every time he opened his mouth…..like shooting ducks in a barrel….and the GOP seems to have this syndrome….they in the past have taken victory and snatched out defeat….all because they just cannot shut up….with every town hall they piss off more people that would have possibly voted their way in the future…..
We all have seen this in action…..part of the problem is that there are too many sand lot bullies in the Tea Party that rubs off on the GOP every time they have something stupid to say….and that is about every time they open their mouths…….the adults in the party have relinquished control to the sub human bullies……
What brought his post on was the thought I had, after reading a good opinion piece…..the GOP has the upper edge, right now, because of the insanity that is Obamacare….but there is a budget debate to look forward to next year….they cannot do too much damage this year for they only have about 5 working days left before they take another break…..a break to try out those new knee pads they will get for Xmas…..this is the piece that I referred to earlier…..
(Newser) – The conservative editorial page of the Wall Street Journal sounds pretty hopeful that the troubles of ObamaCare will translate into solid GOP gains in next year’s midterms. But the editors also see signs
that Republicans are going to once again blow it with a “stupid, futile budget standoff.” This time, it’s defense hawks such as Rep. Buck McKeon who might break party ranks, thanks to Pentagon cuts mandated by current law. His intent is honorable, say the editors, but he and fellow hawks need to stand down for the sake of the party.
“If 20 or so GOP Members vote with Nancy Pelosi to ditch the budget caps, Republicans can’t pass a government funding bill before the current continuing resolution expires early next year,” they write. “This could trigger another shutdown and pell-mell political retreat that makes the GOP again look like the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.” Republicans have to remain united—the lesson they should have learned from the last budget mess—and “Boehner must finally show enough leadership and toughness to keep his Members in line.” Click for the full editorial. (Meanwhile, a Politico story suggests that a genuine deal is in the works to avoid a shutdown this time around.)
The big question to ask is……will the GOP pee in their chili–again?
Please let the thoughts fly.
5 December 2013
Today will be a short day….my father of 93 years passed on….he went quietly in his sleep after a short bout with the body shutting down…….
A WW2 vet, Korean War vet and a 30 year Air Force retiree…..he worked for the local PD after retirement and fully retired from all work back in 1990…….he got to accomplish so much travel, family, good retirement….his last days he was surrounded by family and friends.
He was a good father and husband….and a better soul could not be found….
Good-bye Father….Rest In Peace
5 December 2013
International Situations, News, Observations
We have all witnessed or heard all the conspiracy theories about the drug cartels doing this or that…..and we know that DHS is always concerned about the possibility of a dirty bomb being set off in one of this country’s larger cities…..
There is a concern that Russia might be the spot where bad guys could con or bribe someone into getting a sufficient amount of radioactive material to build that dreaded bomb…there is always stories maybe it is an urban legend that there is a sizable amount of radioactive material missing from the US stockpiles…….which ever one of these that you might subscribe to there is other possibilities for the bad guys to acquire the proper amount of radioactive material to build that bomb that we all know is only a matter of time before it happens……and this story is one good possibility……
Newser) – A truck laden with “dangerous” radioactive material used to fight cancer was stolen on Monday near Mexico City, says the International Atomic Energy Agency, per the BBC. “At the time the truck was stolen, the source was properly shielded. However, the source could be extremely dangerous to a person if removed from the shielding, or if it was damaged,” the UN agency says. The truck was carrying cobalt-60, which the IAEA director has warned could be used in a dirty bomb.
The white Volkswagen Worker was ferrying the cobalt-60 between a Tijuana hospital and a radioactive waste storage site when armed men stole it; the theft occurred at a gas station in Tepojaco. Mexican and US officials are on the case, ABC News reports, and the IAEA is offering help. A dirty bomb would cause fewer fatalities than a nuclear bomb, but it could prompt “mass panic, as well as serious economic and environmental consequences.” The IAEA gets more than 100 reports per year regarding similar thefts or illegal use of nuclear and radioactive material, Reuters notes.
A scary thought I know….but let’s be realistic…..it is only a matter of time until some derange douche bag gets his hands on enough material to make that dirty bomb and puts it into play…..