What else did we leave on the moon? Smarter Every Day explains: bit.ly
Play with a corner reflector: dft.ba
US Space and Rocket Center: spacecamp.com
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About an hour ago I get this link. LWC gives me this heads up about Erick the Redstate going all in Tea Party and rebuffing the senior GOP leadership. I read the link, got suspicious at a lack of attribution or links and shortly used Google to track down the source. Yes, it’s a TP manifesto of sorts.
These people are destroying the conservative brand. I’m conservative. Not social-con or theo-con. I just choose to live my personal life conservative financially and boring straight monogamous. What that means to me in the larger sense is legislative compromise with the other party is part of responsible governance. As is loyal opposition. As is a certain adherence and loyalty to reality. Science. Facts.
This is about the GOP civil war. The war for it’s heart. For it’s future. Or it’s demise like the whigs.
If you like, hit the link and read it all. Ponder if you will, a post GOP nation.
Over the next couple of years, Barack Obama wants to raise the national debt to $18.9 trillion or so.
John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and the congressional Republicans want to raise the national debt to $18.4 trillion or so.
This is not about the compromise. This is not about the fiscal cliff. This is not even about removing Amash, Huelskamp, Schweikert, and Jones. This is about beginning again anew — a process that cannot happen when the faces of the Republican leadership have been in Washington since 1986 expanding government while preaching the need for limiting it.
Defense asserts denial of due process, demands right to diddle Doodle.
The guy’s lawyer must be a jackass.
OCALA - Lawyers representing a Marion County man accused of sexual activity with a miniature donkey have filed a motion asking a judge to declare the Florida statute banning sexual activities with animals unconstitutional.
Carlos R. Romero, 32, declared last week that he wanted to take his case to trial. He is accused of sexual activities involving animals, a first-degree misdemeanor, after he allegedly was found in a compromising position in August with a female miniature donkey named Doodle.
In the motion filed in Marion County court on Dec. 6, the assistant public defenders handling Romero’s case — Joshua Wyatt, Scott Schmidt and Joshua Lukman — wrote that the statute infringes upon Romero’s due process rights and violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment in the U.S. Constitution.
The statute’s designated punishment for a first-degree misdemeanor conviction, a year in county jail, also constitutes cruel and unusual punishment and is excessive, the attorneys wrote.
Romero previously rejected the State Attorney’s Office plea offer of a year of probation, a $200 fine, a psychosexual evaluation and possible treatment, STD testing, no contact with children in a school setting, no ownership or possession of any mammals, and revocation of his license to work in horse racing.
Last week at a brief status conference, Romero confirmed that he wanted to take his case to trial. Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday.
No ownership or possession of mammals? There’s always the chickens.
A whooping cough epidemic is affecting Vermont, according to the Vermont Department of Health, which is calling on all adults 19 and older to get vaccinated.
As of last week, 522 cases of pertussis (as whooping cough is also known) had been reported statewide, Commissioner Harry Chen told a news conference Thursday. That’s more than 10 times the usual number for this time of year. More cases are being reported daily, state epidemiologist Patsy Kelso said.
About 90 percent of Vermont children have been vaccinated, Kelso said, but the immunization rate for adults is much lower, probably in the neighborhood of 10 percent. And adults are believed to be primarily responsible for spreading the disease, largely via coughing and sneezing.
Free clinics to administer the vaccine to adults will be open at regional health department offices Wednesday, Chen said. The adult booster, called Tdap, has only been available in Vermont since 2006, so most people probably have not received it. Tdap also immunizes against tetanus and diphtheria.
Every Democrat with ambitions to succeed President Obama wants to know the answer to one question: Is Hillary Clinton going to run? If so, many will decide against doing so themselves. Who wants to square off against an opponent who’ll have a better money-raising operation, a better resume, and a spouse who happens to be America’s best surrogate? At the moment when the first black president is preparing to leave the White House, who will want to run against someone with a more than viable chance of becoming the first woman president?
“She seems like Democrats’ best bet, perhaps by some margin, to extend their winning streak to three or more terms in the White House,” Nate Silver notes. “If she ran even a point or two stronger than a ‘generic’ Democrat, the odds would shift meaningfully in her favor, holding other circumstances equal.”
But say Clinton doesn’t run. That changes everything, doesn’t it? Any Democratic primary without her would be dubbed “wide open.” Joe Biden may try to succeed his boss either way. But he is eminently beatable, as every aspiring alternative knows. He wouldn’t scare anyone away.
Sarah Kavanagh and her little brother were looking forward to the bottles of Gatorade they had put in the refrigerator after playing outdoors one hot, humid afternoon last month in Hattiesburg, Miss.
But before she took a sip, Sarah, a dedicated vegetarian, did what she often does and checked the label to make sure no animal products were in the drink. One ingredient, brominated vegetable oil, caught her eye.
“I knew it probably wasn’t from an animal because it had vegetable in the name, but I still wanted to know what it was, so I Googled it,” Ms. Kavanagh said. “A page popped up with a long list of possible side effects, including neurological disorders and altered thyroid hormones. I didn’t expect that.”
She threw the product away and started a petition on Change.org, an online petition platform, that has almost 200,000 signatures. Ms. Kavanagh, 15, hopes her campaign will persuade PepsiCo, Gatorade’s maker, to consider changing the drink’s formulation.
Jeff Dahncke, a spokesman for PepsiCo, noted that brominated vegetable oil had been deemed safe for consumption by federal regulators. “As standard practice, we constantly evaluate our formulas and ingredients to ensure they comply with federal regulations and meet the high quality standards our consumers and athletes expect — from functionality to great taste,” he said in an e-mail.
In fact, about 10 percent of drinks sold in the United States contain brominated vegetable oil, including Mountain Dew, also made by PepsiCo; Powerade, Fanta Orange and Fresca from Coca-Cola; and Squirt and Sunkist Peach Soda, made by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group.
The ingredient is added often to citrus drinks to help keep the fruit flavoring evenly distributed; without it, the flavoring would separate.
Is Earth F**Ked: At 2012 AGU Meeting, Scientists Consider Advocacy, Activism, Politics, and Getting Arrested.
Many of us have wondered at some point in almost precisely these terms: “Is Earth F**ked?” But it’s not the sort of frank query you expect an expert in geomorphology to pose to his colleagues as the title of a formal presentation at one of the world’s largest scientific gatherings.
Nestled among offerings such as “Bedrock Hillslopes to Deltas: New Insights Into Landscape Mechanics” and “Chemical Indicators of Pathways in the Water Cycle,” the question leapt off the pages of the schedule for the American Geophysical Union’s fall meeting. Brad Werner, a geophysicist at the University of California, San Diego, is one of the more than 20,000 Earth and atmospheric scientists who descended on downtown San Francisco this week to share their research on everything from Antarctic ice-sheet behavior to hurricane path modeling to earthquake forecasting. But he’s the only one whose presentation required the use of censorious asterisks. When the chairman of Werner’s panel announced the talk’s title on Wednesday, a titter ran through the audience at the naughtiness of it all.
Why shout out the blunt question on everyone’s mind? Werner explained at the outset of the presentation that it was inspired by friends who are depressed about the future of the planet. “Not so much depressed about all the good science that’s being done all over the world—a lot of it being presented here—about what the future holds,” he clarified, “but by the seeming inability to respond appropriately to it.”
Energy consultant Craig Miller, who spends much of his time working to make the smart grid a reality, got a jolt when he mentioned his work to a new acquaintance. The man, who happened to be a lineman at a Pennsylvania utility, responded earnestly: “Smart meters are a plot by Obama to spy on us.”
The encounter was a disheartening sign of the challenge ahead for proponents of the smart grid, who say that the technology can help the industry meet power demand, fix problems faster, and help consumers lower their electricity bills. Advocates of such a 21st-century grid are learning that they need to take privacy concerns seriously. Though smart meters are not, in fact, a domestic espionage scheme, they do raise questions: In a world where households start talking with the power grid, what exactly will be revealed? And who will be listening? (See related quiz: “What You Don’t Know About Electricity.”)
The term “smart grid” encompasses an array of technologies that can be implemented at various points along the line of transmission from power plant to electricity user, but for many consumers, it is symbolized by one thing: the smart meter. A majority of U.S. states have begun deploying the wireless meters, which can send electricity usage information from a household back to the utility remotely at frequent intervals. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, more than 36 million smart meters were installed across the nation as of August 2012, covering about a quarter of all electrical customers. In the European Union, only 10 percent of households have smart meters but they are being deployed rapidly to meet an EU mandate that the technology reach 80 percent of households by 2020.
Because smart meters can provide real-time readings of household energy use instead of the familiar monthly figures most customers now see in their electric bills, the devices offer a new opportunity for consumers to learn more about their own power use and save money. But the ability to track a household’s energy use multiple times a day also presents some unsettling possibilities. In theory, the information collected by smart meters could reveal how many people live in a home, their daily routines, changes in those routines, what types of electronic equipment are in the home, and other details. “It’s not hard to imagine a divorce lawyer subpoenaing this information, an insurance company interpreting the data in a way that allows it to penalize customers, or criminals intercepting the information to plan a burglary,” the private nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation noted in a blog post about smart meters. (Related: “Pictures: The Energy Drain of Recreational Drugs”)
What’s the Latest Development?
Now available for $15.99 at New York-based startup MPowerd’s Web site is Luci, a four-ounce lamp that consists of a solar panel, a lithium-ion battery, and a ring of LED lights all encased in a flexible container. After the battery is charged, the lamp can be turned on simply by blowing into a valve at the top. When Luci is fully inflated, the light that’s created is equivalent to that produced by a 60-watt bulb. Squishing the container concentrates the light so that the lamp works more like a flashlight. It’s quite tough, and can even withstand rain.
What’s the Big Idea?
Although MPowerd hopes that Luci will be popular in the US and other developed nations, it created its lamp primarily to address the needs of the less fortunate: According to the International Energy Agency, 1.3 billion people on Earth have no access to a power grid.