A Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On

The cold snap has left us Southerners with a bit of a shiver……normally we in the Deep South do not suffer from the bone chilling weather that most the country has to endure…..and we do not suffer quietly.

My garden is only a memory from the summer…..at least the wide array of birds are still visiting and makes it seem like Spring…..

Sorry I was babbling on but it is Sunday and what better day to go on aimlessly?

Now we get to the good stuff……..

Sunday and I have some sad news for the world……looks like that next year, 2018, is going to be a bad year for earthquakes……17 to 20 major quakes of 7.0 or higher magnitude……

Two geologists may have spotted a surprisingly simple correlation that can help predict earthquakes—and if they’re correct, the Earth is on track for an uptick in major quakes next year. The pair pored over a century’s worth of a data on earthquakes and detected a pattern: When the Earth’s rotation slows, as it does periodically, the slowdown is followed by an increase in quakes with a magnitude of 7 or greater, reports the Guardian. Their research, published in Geophysical Research Letters, has been well-received in the field, and it will be put to the test soon. The rotational slowdowns typically happen over five years, and the last began four years ago. Meaning, we can expect to see two to five more major earthquakes than normal in 2018, or 17 to 20, reports Science.

“The Earth offers us a five-years’ heads up on future earthquakes, which is remarkable,” says Roger Bilham of the University of Colorado, who detected the correlation with Rebecca Bendick of the University of Montana. Exactly where the quakes will take place is fuzzier, but typically the increase shows up in regions along the Equator. The researchers aren’t sure how to explain all this, but one theory is that it involves nearly imperceptible changes in the flow of molten iron in the Earth’s core. That might be enough to slow down the Earth’s spin a millisecond or two, a difference that can be measured by atomic clocks, and perhaps result in the release of vast amounts of energy underground. The cycle seems to take place about every three decades, writes geologist Trevor Nace at Forbes. (LA residents won’t like this San Andreas prediction.)

WE do not need more major disasters for our president has NO idea how to handle these disasters…..Puerto Rico proved that all to shamefully.  We can only pray that Arizona will not become beach front property.

Sunday is over and I will withdraw to my room and read and write……

 

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Operation Paperclip

At the end of World War 2 the US ran all over Germany snapping up German scientists, most of whom would be tried for crimes against humanity but their expertise was needed so Operation paperclip protected these criminals and moved most of them to the US under the protection of the government.

More about Operation paperclip here…..

Operation Paperclip, named after the use of the ordinary paperclip attached to the personnel files of select German scientists, was a special operation of breathtaking scope. Instead of highly trained teams tasked for important combat missions, these teams were hunters and gatherers sifting and searching through the wreckage and ruin of a devastated Germany. Theirs was a high-stakes contest against an equally determined Russia and other less malevolent former allies. German scientists and technologies were the pawns, and the prize was nothing less than national security and preeminence as a world power. When it was concluded, hundreds of German scientists and their families, tons of documents, hardware, weapon systems, and technologies would be transferred from Germany to the United States.

Officially, Operation Paperclip concluded on Sept. 30, 1947. In a public statement, the Army announced that the operation had brought into the United States 457 scientists and 453 dependents. But a closed-door decision was made to allow Operation Paperclip to continue, this time as a top secret program. To justify the continuation, the Air Force stated that the 209 German scientists working for it had substantially advanced the development of weapons systems and the scientists were “superlative specialists … the best available in the world today.” They were saving the Air Force millions of dollars and an estimated 10 years in cost and development. The Navy added its praise, stating that German mathematicians, aerodynamicists, and experts in heat transfer had proven that “their professional education and training [were]superior to that of any U.S. personnel available.”

https://argunners.com/operation-paperclip-saving-german-scientists/

Some of the research that America used in their space program was testing done on Jewish prisoners that resulted in a horrific death and yet we decided that it was somehow okay to use this research if it put us a head of the Russians.

I personally have a problem with this type of program….a war criminal is a war criminal and should face the same judgements that others had to face.

Thoughts?

Hiding In Plain Sight

Saturday and I am getting myself ready for some news from my doctor……

SO that lead me to think about some of theories of the destruction of the planet….if you are a fan of the Ancient Aliens theory (of which I am not) then you know all about the mysterious planet….Niburu or Planet X….

Many people think these “conspiracist” are out of their minds……….but some news that hit thw wires last week nay give their crazy theories new legs…..

Astronomically inclined conspiracy theorists have long been predicting the Earth’s demise in a collision with a rogue planet called “Niburu” or “Planet X” biding its time out of sight somewhere in the solar system, CNET reports. In fact, Niburu was “supposed” to crash into Earth just last month. And while death-by-planet remains unlikely, the existence of an undiscovered planet in our solar system is now almost a certainty, according to NASA. Planetary astrophysicist Konstantin Batygin and professor Mike Brown set out to disprove the existence of a hidden planet a few years ago and, ironically, ended up finding convincing evidence for the existence of what they call “Planet Nine.”

The main evidence for Planet Nine comes from its “gravitational footprint,” but it’s convincing enough that Batygin says the solar system makes a lot more sense with the hidden planet than without it, Space.com reports. Planet Nine is believed to be 10 times more massive than Earth and located about 20 times farther from the sun than Neptune. From its position in the far reaches of the solar system, it has tilted and reversed the orbits of objects in the Kuiper Belt, according to Batygin and Brown. It also may be the reason the orbits of the planets are slightly off from the sun’s equator. Finally, Planet Nine could be the “super Earth” frequently found orbiting other stars but “conspicuously absent” around ours. Oh, and NASA wants conspiracy theorists to know Planet Nine, if it exists, is staying far away from Earth.

There you are….your astronomical news…..whatcha think?

Moon Base Echo!

Together Into The unknown!

These days there is a lot of push back against Russia…..did they interfere in our elections?  Did they turn any Americans into spies?

So when I read this story I found it interesting that the US and Russia have a joint operation for the Moon…..

Two words: Moon base. AFP reports the US and Russia will work together on a NASA program to build the Deep Space Gateway, a space station in orbit around the moon. NASA and Russia’s Roscosmos signed an agreement to cooperate on the station, which will be “an invaluable pit stop for human and robotic exploration of the lunar surface” and “a staging point for deep space missions” to Mars and Venus, on Wednesday at the 68th International Astronautical Congress in Australia, according to Motherboard. While the Deep Space Gateway program is being led by NASA, Roscosmos will contribute docking ports and life support systems, and Russian rockets will be used to help with construction, Engadget reports.

NASA wants to start work on the Deep Space Gateway, which will be crewed by four astronauts, in the mid-2020s. It’s one step toward its goal of sending humans to Mars by the 2030s. In statements, Roscosmos and NASA say they share a “common vision for human exploration.” The Deep Space Gateway agreement is important for a number of reasons. It clarifies NASA’s goals and how it will achieve them after years of funding issues. It also makes it less likely Congress will put the kibosh on the Deep Space Gateway at some point. Finally, the agreement will be one more thing keeping the US and Russia from—as Engadget puts it—descending “into outright hostilities.” Space is so far one of the few places where tensions between the two countries haven’t risen recently.

Could this be a new beginning for cooperative work between thew US and Russia?

I do not see this coming to a reality any time soon….too much animosity towards each other right now.

Storm approaches…..

Looking At The Top Of Their Head

It is another weekend and more time to stray from the politics of the day….for at least a couple of days….

Go out to a family restaurant some time and watch the people at their tables…..how many are avoiding talking and instead are looking at some electronic screen or another?

Teenagers seem to be the worse….but did you know that it could be hazardous to their mental health?

The number of ways in which the smartphone has made our lives easier is vast. Whether it’s using Shazam to identify a song on the radio or having a sophisticated camera at the ready 24/7, the smartphone era ushered in by the iPhone has fundamentally changed the way the world uses and interacts not only with technology but also with each other. While there is no shortage of examples that illustrate how the smartphone has improved our lives, a more interesting and novel thought experiment would have us explore some of the more detrimental side effects associated with our collective addiction to smartphones and society’s unending need to constantly stay connected.

Tackling this very topic, a fascinating piece from Jean M. Twenge of The Atlantic articulates that adolescents who have grown up in a world dominated by smartphones are more prone to a variety of mental health problems than adolescents from previous generations. Twenge categorizes kids born between 1995 and 2012 under a group she calls iGen and the problems she’s seen in these kids — who have never known a life without the internet — transcends gender, class and ethnicity.

Source: Smartphones are causing a mental health crisis in teens | New York Post

I am so glad that my granddaughter has found that she enjoys board games with the old guy….plus she is in the school band and she enjoys books.

Now go and enjoy the beginning of your weekend….be well, be safe….chuq

Its The Farts!

Most people on WP have a cat or a dog and they post on their antics, moods, photos ……(I’ll get back to our furry friends in a moment)……

Awhile back there was a theory floated out there that the dinosaurs because of their immense size and their diet were allowing massive amounts of methane into the air….more simply…the did a lot of farting.

Then there was the theory that all the cows across the globe were farting constantly and thus the methane level was rising across the world.

Now back to the cats and the dogs……

A UCLA professor isn’t saying anyone who cares about the environment should get rid of their beloved pet dog and/or cat. But he’s not not saying that either. It’s widely accepted that eating meat is bad for the environment for a number of reasons, and it turns out our pets eat a whole lot of meat—in fact a country comprised only of the US’ cats and dogs would place fifth in global meat consumption, according to a press release. Professor Gregory Okin was interested in the environmental impacts of our pets and—in a paper published Wednesday in PLOS One—calculates that American cats and dogs create about 64 million tons of carbon dioxide per year due to eating meat. That’s equivalent to the yearly output of 13.6 million cars. “The numbers are surprisingly large,” he tells the Sacramento Bee.

All told, cats and dogs account for 25% to 30% of the environmental impact of meat consumption in the US. Okin says that’s “huge.” And yet, he’s “not saying people should go out and kill their animals or feed them something that isn’t appropriate”—like an all-veggie diet. Okin does identify a number of possible ways to lessen the problem: people could transition to vegetarian pets, such as hamsters, birds, and chickens (which have the added benefit of providing protein for their owners); the pet food industry could get more sustainable and find alternate sources of protein; and, according to the Santa Monica Mirror, pet owners can make sure they’re not over-feeding their dogs and cats.

If the climate is changing then these “scientists” want to blame our furry friends.

Does not matter to me….my two dogs may fart as much as they like….please just do it another room.

Time for some figs, bleu cheese and honey…..the grill will be busy today…..I will be making a hand made pizza….a meat lovers of course…….be well, be safe…..chuq

Aging Sucks!

Another weekend begins and I have been dealing with lots of issues so a couple of days away from the “news crawler” would be nothing but a good deal.

There is an ad on TV these days about sending in your spit so they can analyze your ‘telemeres”…it is an aging thing…..and now some research has been done along those lines…..

To err is human—our own cells do it all the time. But new research suggests that when it comes to aging, there may be a workaround. Scientists report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology that they triggered cells to produce the protein telomerase, which lengthens the telomeres at the ends of chromosomes. (Telomeres shorten as we age.) The scientists used cells taken from 17 children with the rare genetic condition progeria, which causes them to age fast and typically die in their teens. Before the therapy, the kids’ cells would “multiply very poorly and then die,” Cooke tells Vice. After delivering RNA right into the cells to spur the production of telomerase, they saw a “dramatic improvement” as cells “proliferated normally.”

The study is small and the research is young, and many experts are highly skeptical. One professor of medical genetics at the University of British Columbia goes so far as to call attempts at telomere lengthening “snake oil,” and says that while telomeres shorten as we age, the correlation isn’t perfect and doesn’t necessarily signal good health or longevity. Plus, there may be at least one evolutionary benefit to telomeres shrinking over time; when cells become too short, they stop dividing and die. At least in the case of cancerous cells, that’s a defense mechanism. Meanwhile, a study out of New King’s College London published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology finds that bipolar disorder may shorten telomeres faster, while patients treated with lithium appear to reverse that effect.

They say another sign of old age is when we start talking to ourselves……my grandfather once said…”when you talk to yourself you talk to a better class of people”…..

Believe it or not….but there has been some research done in this field…..

Talking to yourself doesn’t mean you’re crazy. In fact, the habit might be downright smart. That’s the takeaway from a new study in Scientific Reports, which involved two separate experiments. In the first, researchers at Michigan State University and the University of Michigan monitored the brain activity of 29 students who were asked to review neutral and disturbing images and talk about how they felt while referring to themselves in the first and third persons, reports Today. In the second, researchers asked 50 participants to internally reflect on painful experiences in the same way. In both cases, “third person self-talk” allowed participants to better regulate their emotions to relieve stress, researchers say. “It kind of switches you to a different mode of experiencing negative emotions when you use your name rather than the word, ‘I,'” says the lead researcher.

Indeed, when students were met with disturbing images, activity in the regions of the brain involving emotions decreased within one second of third person self-talk, reports Newsweek. Both experiments also showed referring to oneself in the third person required no more effort than referring to oneself in the first person and much less effort than other forms of emotion regulation, like positive thinking. With third person self-talk, “it’s like you’re viewing [a situation] from an outsider perspective” and gaining “a tiny bit of psychological distance,” researcher Jason Moser explains, per a release. “It really does help.” An example, he says, would be to tell yourself, “Jason is really scared” and explain why during a stress-inducing situation. Moser even says psychologists should recommend it for those struggling with anxiety and stress. (Hearing voices might not be bad, either.)

This old fart is going to have some snacks and wine…..see you guys tomorrow….chuq