[T]he entire west coast” of Canada is “moving away from creationism,” reports the Vancouver Observer (July 23, 2015). The article noted that James Lunney, a Member of Parliament representing a federal electoral district in British Columbia, quit the Conservative Party earlier in 2015 in order not to embarrass the party by continuing to express his vocal opposition to evolution.
Asked “Which of these statements comes closest to your own point of view regarding the origin and developments of human beings on earth?” and presented with “Human beings evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years” and “God created human beings in their present form within the last 10,000 years,” 72% of British Columbians and 58% of Albertans preferred the first option, 17% of British Columbians and 24% of Albertans preferred the second option, and 11% of British Columbians and 18% of Albertans were unsure.
Asked “Do you think creationism — the belief that the universe and life originated from specific acts of divine creation — should be part of the school curriculum in British Columbia?” probably should, 20% said that it probably should not, 40% said that it definitely should not, and 14% were unsure. Asked the same question (presumably about Alberta), 16% of respondents in Alberta said that it definitely should, 18% said that it probably should, 17% said that it probably should not, 33% said that it definitely should not, and 16% were unsure.
The Insights West survey was conducted on-line among 814 adult British Columbians from May 7 to May 9, 2015, and among 801 adult Albertans from May 1 to May 3, 2015. According (PDF) to the poll report, “The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender[,] and region in British Columbia and Alberta.” The margin of error was +/- 3.5 percentage points for British Columbia and Alberta.
Study: Waves in Arctic’s Beaufort and Chukchi Seas and North Pacific’s Bering Sea Are Getting Bigger as Sea Ice Diminishes
Alaska Dispatch News
July 26, 2015
In this 2013 file photo, Chukchi Sea waves crash on the coast at Barrow. A new study found that waves are growing bigger in the Chukchi, as well as the neighboring Beaufort and Bering Seas, and those increases correlate with the loss of sea ice. Marc Lester / ADN
Waves grew bigger and spaced farther apart as ice cover diminished in the Arctic and sub-Arctic waters off Alaska and western Canada, new research shows.
Since the 1970s, the biggest waves in the Beaufort, Chukchi and Bering Seas have grown at a rate of 0.3 to 0.8 percent per year, according to a comprehensive study led by Environment Canada. The time it takes waves to cycle, a measurement known as period, has grown even more, by 3 to 4 percent per year, more than tripling since 1970, according to the study, published by the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate.
The study tracks significant wave height, which is the height of the biggest third of the waves, and mean wave period, which is the average of time for wave crests and troughs to complete their cycles.
Here are some downright chilling sounds recorded by several spacecraft. The sounds come from radio signals that are created by solar winds interacting with plasma that is wafting through our solar system.
Great News for the search for alien life! We can’t be sure, but we may have finally found the first truly Earth like planet circling another star! Tom Risen has the details!
Newly-discovered planet Kepler-452b is in the habitable zone of a solar system 1,400 light years away, NASA announced Thursday.
NASA has announced the news mankind has long been waiting for: They’ve finally found a planet that’s a lot like Earth.
The NASA space-based Kepler telescope discovered the planet, labeled Kepler 452-b, which is described as Earth’s bigger cousin, said Jon Jenkins, data analysis lead at NASA’s Ames Research Center. The orbit of the planet, around a star that seems similar to our Sun, falls inside the same habitable zone that supports life on Earth, so it “almost definitely has an atmosphere but the details are unknown,” Jenkins said during a press call with reporters on Thursday.
“It’s awe-inspiring to consider that this planet has spent 6 billion years in the habitable zone of its star; longer than Earth,” he said. “That’s substantial opportunity for life to arise, should all the necessary ingredients and conditions for life exist on this planet.”
Donating Fetal Tissue After an Abortion or Miscarriage Is Totally Legal — and It’s Actually a Great Thing
We’ve seen not one but two shady undercover videos attacking Planned Parenthood in the last week, part of a systematic attempt at advancing a religious and political agenda that harms reproductive rights and autonomy. In each heavily-edited film, we see alleged negotiations over buying fetal tissue for research, an activity which is categorically illegal. Human organs and tissue cannot be bought or traded in the U.S. However, Planned Parenthood does not in fact do this, and it’s disingenuous and dangerous to imply otherwise. Instead, some clinics empower patients who are interested in seeing their abortions go to a good cause — and you can be one of those patients, if you’re so inclined.
The Center for Medical Progress (CMP), the group behind the videos, is going to cost us millions in efforts to debunk its claim and educate the public about fetal tissue donation, an activity that’s perfectly legal. CMP, along with other right-wing groups and lawmakers, is already pushing for congressional investigations and other costly moves that would waste government resources while targeting abortion providers for harassment and limiting their ability to work. This is not the first time sketchy and potentially illegal videos have been used to smear Planned Parenthood, nor will it be the last.
More at http://organdonor.gov/about/
There is a powerful anti-science movement in the US Congress that would like NASA scientists to stop finding out all that inconvenient stuff about what we are doing to the earth, like, why is it so dang hot down here? Better, they say, to keep the focus on what’s going on in far distant corners of the universe.
Speaking of goobers, Senator Ted Cruz pushes the ‘more space, less Earth” meme in a congressional hearing, and runs into a polite but devastating response from NASA administrator Charles Bolden:
Bolden defended spending more money on Earth science activities, saying he is “proud” of it since it’s led to a greater understanding of the planet.
“We can’t go anywhere if the Kennedy Space Center goes underwater and we don’t know it — and that’s understanding our environment,” Bolden said, in a clear reference to global warming-related sea level rise.
At age 24, when other young adults were trying to find their way in this world, Clyde W. Tombaugh was discovering a new one. Tombaugh, who discovered the planet Pluto in 1930 at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, and went on to become a distinguished astronomer, is honored with a stained-glass window at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Las Cruces, New Mexico. He and his wife, Patsy, helped found the congregation in 1955, and he was an active member of the church until his death in 1997.
Created by Arthur J. Tatkoski and dedicated in 2001, the five-paneled window is eight feet tall and eighteen feet wide and is located on the east side of the church, where it catches the morning light. Its theme is the universe and our solar system, interspersed with depictions of Tombaugh’s childhood in Kansas, his passion for teaching, and his work with rockets, telescopes, NASA, and the White Sands missile base. A banner stretching across the panels quotes from the church affirmation: “That all souls shall grow into harmony with creation.”
More: Tombaugh Memorial Window
The Air Force will transfer the facility near Gakona to the university early next month, said Othana Zuch, an Air Force spokesperson, on Tuesday.
The transfer of the facility and equipment, which researchers use to probe the atmosphere, will come at no cost to the university, said Marmian Grimes, UAF spokesperson.
Known for its system of 180 radio antennas, construction of the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program facility began in 1993, with construction funding secured by the late U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens. The facility is designed to study the Earth’s ionosphere. Two years ago, the U.S. Air Force had completed its research there and was preparing to shut it down permanently, Grimes said.
The university reached out to the researchers around the world and found a lot of interest in keeping the operation alive, Grimes said. “There are only three like it in the world, and HAARP is considered by many to be the very best one,” she said.
If you bring a gun into your life, it increases your risk of becoming a killer, or a successful suicide. No one should be armed without first thinking long and hard about the risks and responsibilities that come with gun ownership.
A high-profile shooting, like the June 17 crime that left dead nine members of a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, is typically followed by calls for greater gun control, along with counter arguments that the best way to stop gun crimes is with more guns.
“The one thing that would have at least ameliorated the horrible situation in Charleston would have been that if somebody in that prayer meeting had a conceal carry or there had been either an off-duty policeman or an on-duty policeman, somebody with the legal authority to carry a firearm and could have stopped the shooter,” presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said in a Fox News interview on June 19.
A new study, however, throws cold water on the idea that a well-armed populace deters criminals or prevents murders. Instead, higher ownership of guns in a state is linked to more firearm robberies, more firearm assaults and more homicide in general.
Some of the “biggest and baddest” black holes around are buried under thick blankets of gas and dust. These monsters in the middle of galaxies are actively devouring material, but their hidden nature makes observing them a challenge.
NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) recently caught a glimpse of five of these secluded beasts. While hidden from view from most other telescopes, NuSTAR can spot them by detecting the highest-energy X-rays, which can penetrate through the enshrouding gas and dust.
The research, led by astronomers at Durham University, United Kingdom, supports the theory that potentially millions of supermassive black holes exist in the universe hidden from view. The findings were presented today, July 6, at the Royal Astronomical Society’s National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno, Wales.
The scientists pointed NuSTAR at nine galaxies where supermassive black holes were thought to be extremely active but largely obscured. Five of these candidates were found to contain hidden supermassive black holes, feasting on surrounding material. What’s more, the objects were observed to be more active than previously thought.
Such observations were not possible before NuSTAR, which launched in 2012 and is able to detect much higher-energy X-rays than previous satellite observatories.
“Thanks to NuSTAR, for the first time, we have been able to clearly identify these hidden monsters that are predicted to be there, but have previously been elusive because of their surrounding cocoons of material,” said George Lansbury of Durham University, lead author of the findings accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal.
“Although we have only detected five of these hidden supermassive black holes, when we extrapolate our results across the whole universe, then the predicted numbers are huge and in agreement with what we would expect to see.”
Daniel Stern, the project scientist for NuSTAR at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, added: “High-energy X-rays are more penetrating than low-energy X-rays, so we can see deeper into the gas burying the black holes. NuSTAR allows us to see how big the hidden monsters are, and is helping us learn why only some black holes appear obscured.”
The research is funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council.
NuSTAR is a Small Explorer mission led by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, also in Pasadena, for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The spacecraft was built by Orbital Sciences Corporation, Dulles, Virginia.
For more information, visit: