The Rocket Boys
In the late 1930s, a group of Caltech graduate students were booted off campus after blowing up (part of!) their building during a rocket test gone awry. Unwilling to give up on the joy of semi-controlled explosions, the students and a few of their friends headed into the San Gabriel Mountains. They picked a deserted gully — Arroyo Seco — and got testing. This was about when their classmates starting calling the gathering the Suicide Club.
1936: Rudolph Schott, Apollo Milton Olin Smith, Frank Malina, Ed Forman and Jack Parsons: Rocket Boys, or Suicide Club?
Frank Malina studied aerodynamics at Caltech. Jack Parons was a high school drop-out and a self-taught chemist. Ed Forman was an excellent mechanic. Their first round of testing in October 1936 was less-than-successful: the last test of the day, they accidentally lit their oxygen line on fire. The line whipped around, a snaking hose of fire that somehow didn’t kill anyone. Undeterred, they kept trying. By November, their tests worked.
Call them the shoe truthers.
Some conservative media figures are openly wondering if Hillary Clinton staged an incident during a speech in Las Vegas on Thursday in which a woman in the audience threw a shoe at her. The shoe appeared to miss the rumored 2016 presidential hopeful, who ducked and made light of it, while the reported thrower, Alison Michelle Ernst, was booked by the authorities.
A blog post published Monday at the website of Fox News commentator Bernard Goldberg speculated that Clinton probably “calculated it beforehand,” as is “almost always true” with things that happen to her.
“So it would not be stretching logic to suppose that Hillary arranged to have the shoe thrown at her,” wrote Arthur Louis at Goldberg’s site. “Remembering the Bush incident [when an Iraqi journalist threw two shoes at President George W. Bush], she may have calculated that this would make her seem presidential. This would explain why Ms. Ernst was not pounded to a pulp by Hillary’s bodyguards, and why she seems on the verge of getting off scot free. Don’t be too surprised, the next time you visit Phoenix, if you see her sitting at a table in a downtown Hillary for President store front, stuffing and sealing envelopes.”
The existence of exotic hadrons — a type of matter that doesn’t fit within the traditional model of particle physics — has now been confirmed, scientists say.
Researchers working on the Large Hadron Collider beauty (LHCb) collaboration at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Switzerland — where the elusive Higgs boson particle was discovered in 2012 — announced today (April 14) they had confirmed the existence of a new type of hadron, with an unprecedented degree of statistical certainty. [Standard Model of Particle Physics Explained (Inforgraphic)]
“We’ve confirmed the unambiguous observation of a very exotic state — something that looks like a particle composed of two quarks and two antiquarks,” study co-leader Tomasz Skwarnicki, a high-energy physicist at Syracuse University in New York said in a statement. The discovery “may give us a new way of looking at strong-[force] interaction physics,” he added.
Official NOAA Climate Prediction Center estimates peg the odds of El Niño’s return at 50 percent, but many climate scientists think that is a lowball estimate. And there are several indications that if it materializes, this year’s El Niño could be massive, a lot like the 1997-98 event that was the strongest on record.
“I think there’s no doubt that there’s an El Niño underway,” said climate scientist Kevin Trenberth of the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research. “The question is whether it’ll be a small or big one.”
On top of some late-’90s nostalgia, a strong El Niño would bring pronounced changes to weather patterns around the globe, and possibly relief from some of the less-pleasant weather trends that have dominated headlines this year. After a Polar Vortex-fueled, unbearably cold winter in the U.S. Midwest and East Coast, a strong El Niño could bring warmer, drier weather in late 2014. And to parched California and its prolonged drought, El Niño might provide drenching rainstorms to fill up reservoirs. But the news won’t all be good. Rainstorms in California could mean floods and mudslides and, coupled with climate change, El Niño could bring harsher droughts to parts of Australia and Africa.
Beyond general outlines, it can be tough to say exactly what will happen with El Niño, so we’re going to break down some potential scenarios.
That’s some impressive problem solving. The two bigger cats are stuck in a live re-enactment of Newton’s Third Law, while the third tries to get in on the action. Props to the smallest cat for eventually realizing that it’s better to just eat what it can rather than try to beat the others for the whole thing.
It can be a metaphor for life, but mostly you want to see the middle cat eat through the meat, sending the other two flying backwards. Which, sadly, doesn’t even happen in the longer version.
BEIRUT — They fled Kasab at daybreak, amid the clamor of artillery and word that Islamist rebels were advancing toward them from Turkey.
About 2,500 residents, most of them ethnic Armenians, gathered documents and what few possessions they could carry. They piled into cars and minibuses that carried them 40 miles down mountain roads to the government-held city of Latakia. Only some elderly remained behind, residents said.
“We escaped with the clothes on our back,” said one of those who eventually made it to Lebanon.
Many had heard reports of atrocities committed in August by other rebels elsewhere in Latakia province. Armenian Christians have lived in Kasab since the days of the Ottoman Empire, but they feared for their lives if they remained.
After spending a week whisking away nearly 400 cattle they said were illegally grazing on federal land in the Nevada desert, officials facing a battalion of protesters with horses and guns decided to free those cattle in a stunning reversal Saturday afternoon.
A line of cattle calmly filtered out of a federal holding area at about 3 p.m. as protesters and law enforcement watched from alongside Interstate 15 near the Nevada-Arizona state line.
“Due to escalating tensions, the cattle have been released from the enclosures in order to avoid violence and help restore order,” the U.S. Bureau of Land Management said in a short statement.
WASHINGTON — A secret Senate report on the CIA’s treatment of Al Qaeda detainees from 2001 to 2006 concludes that the spy agency used brutal, unauthorized interrogation techniques, misrepresented key elements of the program to policymakers and the public, and actively sought to undermine congressional oversight, officials who have read the report say.
Contrary to previous assertions by President George W. Bush and CIA leaders, the use of harsh interrogation techniques — which many consider to be torture — did not produce game-changing intelligence that stopped terrorist attacks, the report concludes. Though detainees supplied useful intelligence after such treatment was applied, the report argues that the information could have been elicited through noncoercive methods.
The 6,200-page report was produced by Democratic staffers on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which earlier this month voted 11 to 3 to seek declassification of a 480-page executive summary and a list of findings. The White House and the CIA will now decide what, if anything, must be censored for national security before the summary is released to the public.
The report’s top-line conclusions amount to a scathing indictment of the CIA. Current and former agency officials and many Senate Republicans say they take issue with some of the findings, although not all the specific points of dispute are clear.
It’s easy to dismiss opposition to Rice as partisan politics, as Drop Dropbox’s creators acknowledge. And Rice’s presence on the board is hardly the same thing as giving the NSA a spare key to your servers. Dropbox has previously been aggressive in promising to fight broad government requests for data and access to users’ files, pledges the company has codified into its “Government Data Requests Principles.”
Nevertheless, in the competitive world of cloud computing and storage, appearances matter a lot. Services for storing data and files online abound. What Dropbox and its many competitors are ultimately selling is trust — after all, you’re giving them your data — and public relations are a big part of winning your business. Customers aren’t just buying gigabytes. They’re buying into a brand. Especially in the post-Edward Snowden era where fears of online government surveillance have turned out to be anything but paranoid, Dropbox’s decision to join with someone so closely tied to the national security apparatus carries a big risk to the company’s image.
We would assume that Dropbox realized this. And at least after the fact, the company argues that Rice is more of an asset than a hinderance to the company. “When looking to grow our board, we sought out a leader who could help us expand our global footprint,” Houston wrote on Dropbox’s blog. “Dr. Rice has had an illustrious career as Provost of Stanford University, board member of companies like Hewlett Packard and Charles Schwab, and former United States Secretary of State. We’re honored to be adding someone as brilliant and accomplished as Dr. Rice to our team.”
In Phoenix, Arizona, you can be arrested for repeatedly stopping and engaging a passerby in conversation. This may, under Phoenix law, be evidence that you are “manifesting” an intent to engage in prostitution. Of course, this could also be evidence that you are lost or canvassing for a political group or simply talking about the weather. The difference between “innocent” and “criminal” behavior often comes down to how a person looks. Transgender women of color are often profiled by police as engaging in sex work for simply being outside and going about their daily routines. Amnesty International documented this disproportionate targeting by police of transgender women as sex workers in a 2005 report. “[S]ubjective and prejudiced perceptions of transgender women as sex workers often play a signiﬁcant role in ofﬁcers’ decisions to stop and arrest transgender women,” the report concluded. One woman told Amnesty, “‘No tenemos el derecho a vivir.’ (We don’t have the right to live.).”
Black transgender activist Monica Jones knows this all too well.
Last May, Monica was arrested under the disturbingly vague and overbroad manifestation ordinance. “I believe I was profiled as a sex worker because I am a transgender woman of color, and an activist.” Monica explained.
“I am a student at ASU, and fear that these wrongful charges will affect my educational path. I am also afraid that if am sentenced, I will be placed in a men’s jail as a transgender woman, which would be very unsafe for me. Prison is an unsafe place for everyone, and especially trans people.” On April 11, 2014, Monica will go to trial and the ACLU will be assisting in her constitutional challenge to the manifestation ordinance. Together we hope to send a message about the injustices that transgender women of color so often experience at the hands of the police.