Near Miss: The Solar Superstorm of July 2012
July 23, 2014: If an asteroid big enough to knock modern civilization back to the 18th century appeared out of deep space and buzzed the Earth-Moon system, the near-miss would be instant worldwide headline news.
Two years ago, Earth experienced a close shave just as perilous, but most newspapers didn’t mention it. The “impactor” was an extreme solar storm, the most powerful in as much as 150+ years.
“If it had hit, we would still be picking up the pieces,” says Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado.
Baker, along with colleagues from NASA and other universities, published a seminal study of the storm in the December 2013 issue of the journal Space Weather. Their paper, entitled “A major solar eruptive event in July 2012,” describes how a powerful coronal mass ejection (CME) tore through Earth orbit on July 23, 2012. Fortunately Earth wasn’t there. Instead, the storm cloud hit the STEREO-A spacecraft.
The whole kerfuffle comes down to poorly worded phrasing in the section of the ACA that is under dispute. But really, as Ezra points out, the fundamental purpose of the ACA - the reason it was passed - was to provide assistance to people to buy health insurance if they can’t afford it on their own. That’s the intent of the law. And intent, whether it be of a state legislature, Congress, or the framers of the Constitution, has been a guiding principal in Supreme Court decisions since the dawn of the Republic.
For what it’s worth, if the SCOTUS does take this case (and some have suggested they may not), while the ideologically driven/insane justices like Scalia would probably uphold the appeals court panel decision, the others would clearly see what the intent of the law is, and rule accordingly.
So once again, all the right wing end zone dances - like the ones we’ve seen over Benghazi, the IRS “scandal,” Fast & Furious…even the birther stuff - will have been premature.
The U.S. says it has “new evidence” that Russian forces have been firing artillery across the border to attack Ukrainian military positions, and that Moscow is planning to ship powerful rocket artillery to the rebels it backs in the country’s east.
“We have new evidence that the Russians intend to deliver heavier and more powerful multiple rocket launchers to the separatist forces in Ukraine, and have evidence that Russia is firing artillery from within Russia to attack Ukrainian military positions,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said during a daily briefing.
“I can’t tell you what the information is based on,” Harf said.
The remarks come as the European Union agreed to add 15 people and 18 companies or other organizations to a sanctions list aimed at Moscow, according to Reuters.
Malware targeting Linux servers has been increasingly hitting the headlines over the past year. In this post we will present research on an advanced and highly versatile malware operation targeting Linux and FreeBSD servers. We have named the malware family at the heart of this operation GalacticMayhem, as a reference to some of the C&C urls. It is the same family of malware that was written about by a team of researchers from Yandex.
Infection of a server with Mayhem begins with a PHP dropper script. This script is responsible for dropping a malicious ELF shared object file and executing it. The dropped binary is usually named libworker.so but our research has also uncovered cases where the binary was called atom-aggregator.so or rss-aggr.so. The dropper script always includes both a 32-bit and a 64-bit version of the malware. These are of identical functionality and configuration.
And yet, antioxidant pills have proven to be a bust. In February, a group of independent US medical researchers assessed 10 years of supplement research and found that pills loaded with vitamin E and beta-carotene (the stuff that gives color to carrots and other orange vegetables) pills are at best useless and at worst harmful—that is, they may trigger lung cancer in some people. Just this month, a meta-analysis published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that antioxidant supplements “do not prevent cancer and may accelerate it.”
And a 2009 study found that taking antioxidant supplements before exercise actually negates most of the well-documented benefits of physical exertion: That is, taking an antioxidant pill before a run is little better than doing neither and just sitting on the couch.
You can see women’s abortion access trickle away in the interactive map above. Some things to note: Before the state required admitting privileges, 13 cities had abortion clinics. Now, just seven do. After September, only five Texas cities—Dallas, Forth Worth, San Antonio, Austin, and Houston—will will have abortion clinics. Women in the Rio Grande Valley must now travel to Corpus Christi, a two-and-a-half hour drive, for abortion services. Soon, there won’t be a single clinic providing abortions west of San Antonio. A clinic in Dallas that will operate as an ambulatory surgical center opened after the state’s new law passed and does not initially appear on the map.
In addition to making it harder for abortion providers to operate, the law also bans abortion 20 weeks after conception and forbids the use of medication to terminate pregnancies. At the time of its passage, anti-abortion lawmakers claimed that tougher requirements for abortion providers were necessary to safeguard women. But mainstream medical groups, such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, argue that requiring admitting privileges doesn’t increase the level of care. Transfer agreements with hospitals offer patients the same protection in the rare cases when an abortion requires hospitalization. Plus, abortion foes have made it highly controversial for hospitals to grant abortion providers admitting privileges. In April, for example, two Texas providers claimed in a lawsuit that a Dallas hospital withdrew their admitting privileges because associating with them ginned up negative publicity.
I wrote extensively on a notorious incident two years ago where Aurora Co. police arrested over two dozen motorists, including children under the age of 10, and handcuffed them for an extended period at a surface street intersection. This was based on the suspicion that one of them might be a bank robber. A GPS device in a money bag was sending a signal from somewhere nearby, but the local police did not have access to a device that would pinpoint exactly where it was. The FBI had such a device, but their office was closed for the day. The police opted to arrest everybody at the intersection without anthing resembling probable cause. I use the word arrest deliberately, since the people were held for two hours, could not leave and were handcuffed.
Now, a federal civil rights lawsuit has been filed. The lawyers who filed the lawsuit assert this constituted an unlawful arrest, stating that physical detention over 15 minutes constitutes arrest.Two of the victims claim serious physical injury from the expereince, including one woman whose cuffs were so tight that she lost blood flow to her hands and has nerve damage. That isn’t all, by any means:
60. Mr. Olson attempted to explain to Defendant Ray and the other officers nearby that he had had multiple back and knee surgeries and permanent nerve damage, so kneeling was painful for him. Nevertheless, Defendant Ray continued to scream at Mr. Olson to do so while waving his shotgun near Mr. Olson’s face.
61. Mr. Olson complied, and the pain in his lower back caused him to fall face forward onto the pavement.
62. As Mr. Olson attempted to get up, Defendant Ray yanked Mr. Olson’s arm so violently behind his back while cuffing him that he injured Mr. Olson’s shoulder.
63. Mr. Olson continued to try to explain to the officers nearby, including Defendant Ray, that they were hurting him. Although he was complying with all of their demands, Defendant Ray callously responded, “Quit resisting.”
75. Officers informed Ms. Lombardi that they were going to search her vehicle. They stated that if she refused to let them, she would be arrested.
76. Officers then proceeded to search Ms. Lombardi’s vehicle without her consent.
77. When her handcuffs were finally removed, Ms. Lombardi had deep, red marks on her wrists that were visible for days following the incident.
78. Ms. Lombardi works at a financial institution and is required to be bonded. Ms. Lombardi appeared in the extensive media coverage of the incident with her hands in the air while in the presence of law enforcement. Defendants put Ms. Lombardi’s job and professional reputation at risk.
81. Upon information and belief, Defendants Brandt A. Smith and A. Todd Chanos forced Ms. DeGuzman and her son, Michael Hance, out of their vehicle, patted them down, and handcuffed them, despite having no probable cause or reasonable suspicion that they possessed a weapon or otherwise posed a threat.
82. Defendants Smith and Chanos then marched Ms. DeGuzman and Mr. Hance backwards to the curb and forced them to sit, still handcuffed.
83. Ms. DeGuzman suffered a panic attack. She pleaded with an officer for assistance, but the officer callously told her to simply take a deep breath. As her panic attack continued, the officer did not provide any assistance.
84. Ms. DeGuzman’s hands turned blue due to the tightness of the handcuffs.
85. Defendant Smith demanded that Ms. DeGuzman sign a waiver consenting to a search of her vehicle. She did not want to sign the waiver, but she felt pressured to do so.
86. Officers then proceeded to search her vehicle without her actual consent.
It gets even more interesting.
99. Ms. Strandberg’s son, Ian Strandberg, was seven years old at the time of the incident. He suffered an asthma attack soon after the stop commenced. Prior to being forced out of her vehicle, Ms. Strandberg pleaded with officers to allow her to lower her arms so that she could reach for her son’s inhaler, but the officers callously refused, letting the child continue to suffer through the attack.
100. Ms. Strandberg was diagnosed with Epilepsy in March 2012. She feared that she would suffer a seizure during the stop.
103. Defendants searched Ms. Strandberg’s vehicle without her consent. After the search, Defendants required Ms. Strandberg to sign a form indicating that she consented to the search. She was not permitted to leave the scene until she signed the form.
Notice that police actually threatened the people with continued arrest, and demanded they sign permission statements ex post facto, essentially suborning perjury as well as coercing them to give up a constitutional right that had already been significantly violated. What s especially damning is that much of this occured after the bank robber had already been identified and his car located, since the money was visible in the back seat. At this point, the police are using the mass arrest as a free fishing expedition to look for anything they feel like.
The Fourth Amendment:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The department and city have already rebuffed efforts to settle out of court, so this is going to go before a judge. This may have the potential to go all they was to the SCOTUS. In any event, I pray that the city and police lose this one. What happened that day had nothing to do with rule of law. It was rule of men with guns who could do as they pleased, Constitution and common decency be damned.
If you were the scientific advisor to a $200-billion venture capital fund that aims to limit global warming over the next 20 years, what investment would you recommend as having the single biggest impact? A survey of climate experts found that a majority listed the retirement of coal power—or the sequestering of their emissions—as the top priority for investment.
The retiring of coal-fired plants was picked as the number one choice among an array of other investment options such as rainforest preservation, changing the human diet to less meat (or perhaps encouraging consumption of insects), and building low-emission products. Such findings come from the Vision Prize, a nonpartisan research platform that uses charity prize incentives to carry out online surveys of climate experts.
This latest Vision Prize survey also asked the opinion of experts regarding an open letter on nuclear power by Ken Caldeira, Kerry Emanuel, James Hansen, and Tom Wigley that was published on 3 November 2013. About 71 percent of experts surveyed agreed with the letter’s opinion that nuclear power will play a crucial role in any plan to stabilize the effects of climate change.
Here we go again…
Tom Greer, an 80-year-old retiree, arrived to his upscale Bixby Knolls neighborhood Tuesday night to find a couple in the middle of a late-night break-in.
“When I went in there, they tackled me,” Greer told NBC4 Wednesday. “Both of them jumped up on top of me.”
The intruders, a man and woman, may have underestimated Greer, he said, as they ransacked his safe and yanked the door open right in front of him.
The intruders threw Greer to the ground, but they didn’t know he’d gotten his .22-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver.
“I come back and they see me with a gun, and they run,” he said.
The man escaped, but the woman fell after being struck by Greer’s gunfire in an alley behind the house.
“She says, ‘Don’t shoot me, I’m pregnant! I’m going to have a baby!’ And I shot her anyway,” Greer said.
Even leaving off the possibility that she was pregnant, which has no bearing on her criminal acts, Greer chased her and the other person off his property and into an alley before shooting her twice in the back as she ran away.
That isn’t self defense. That is murder.