for his discoveries concerning the genomes of extinct hominins and human evolution
Humanity has always been intrigued by its origins. Where do we come from, and how are we related to those who came before us? What makes us, Homo sapiens, different from other hominins?
Through his pioneering research, Svante Pääbo accomplished something seemingly impossible: sequencing the genome of the Neanderthal, an extinct relative of present-day humans. He also made the sensational discovery of a previously unknown hominin, Denisova. Importantly, Pääbo also found that gene transfer had occurred from these now extinct hominins to Homo sapiens following the migration out of Africa around 70,000 years ago. This ancient flow of genes to present-day humans has physiological relevance today, for example affecting how our immune system reacts to infections.
Pääbo’s seminal research gave rise to an entirely new scientific discipline; paleogenomics. By revealing genetic differences that distinguish all living humans from extinct hominins, his discoveries provide the basis for exploring what makes us uniquely human.
Topics: Civics, Civil Rights, Existentialism, Fascism, History, Human Rights
"Obviously, there are issues with the border and with migration, but these are the kinds of stunts you see from people who don't have a solution,” Buttigieg said in an interview with journalist Evan Smith at the 2022 Texas Tribune Festival.
His comments drew applause from the audience.
“Governor DeSantis was in Congress. Where was he when they were debating immigration reform?” Buttigieg asks in the interview. “What have any of these people done to be part of the solution?
"So, you know, I get that if you're after attention...it's one thing to call attention to a problem when you have a course of action … it’s another thing to just call attention to a problem because the problem is actually more useful to you than the solution, and that helps you call attention to yourself. And that’s what’s going on,”
Buttigieg continued, “And the problem is, it’s one thing if it was just people being obnoxious, but human beings are being impacted by that. You flee a communist regime in Venezuela, you come here, and then somebody tricks you — somebody using Florida taxpayer money for some reason — tricks you into going from Texas to Massachusetts.
“It is not just ineffectual, it is hurting people in order to get attention.”
I watched the pained look on Desantis' face as he had to work for once in his career as Florida's governor and look serious. He couldn't troll the libs in Brandon, Florida to cheers that are both double entendre and vulgar dig at President Biden. It was probably as fun as sending Venezualian asylum seekers to Martha's Vinyard. The migrants and a Florida state senator filed lawsuits. But that doesn't matter to him. After "building the wall" with his toddler son, Mr. "Stunting Like His [fascist] Daddy" is more like him every day: more married to the performance of power than the responsibility of power. When DeSantis was in Congress, he voted against aid for Hurricane Sandy. Now he has to accept help from "Dark Brandon." I was in New York, so his vote affected me and my family, personally. Truly, "karma keeps receipts."
The second Adlai Stevenson was the Pete Buttigieg/Barack Obama of his day.
When Illinois Gov. Adlai Stevenson was running for president in the 1950s, a supporter purportedly said to him: "Every thinking person in America will be voting for you." Stevenson replied, "I'm afraid that won't do — I need a majority."
When President Donald Trump leaves office, there will still be millions of Americans who think that all Muslims are terrorists, Mexicans are taking over the country, and the government is planning to confiscate their guns. Most of us don't think that way, but we do need to vote.
Stevenson stopped Russian interference in the 1960 presidential election by not spreading the propaganda given to him. Back in the day, that's what normal politicians did when a foreign power tried to rig an election, not "I love it," or for that matter, use it.
Aileen Cannon, one presumes, went to college, and law school, passed the state bar, and she is a judge. But, because her client, the orange stain in the underwear of the nation, doesn't want to say his lies under oath, she's accommodating that wish. She's overruling the Special Master Stain Man and she wanted. Judge Dearie was appointed by Reagan.
Ginni Thomas, one presumes, went to college, and law school, passed the state bar, and she is a lawyer. She STILL believes the 2020 election was stolen. She told the January 6th committee this, and according to her text to Mark Meadows, she told her "best friend," presumably her husband, Justice Clarence Thomas.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is the new Prime Minister of Italy and a member of the fascist party after the death of Mussolini. She is racist, a conspiracy theorist, so of course, American republicans love her. She isn't unintelligent:
From the "awe, shucks" of a B-movie actor, a C-average student who needed the [then, and now] not-Supreme Court to 5-4 appoint him in 2000, usurping the popular vote, to a charlatan con artist pretending to be a business success on a non-reality TV show, we have put mediocrity on a pedestal, we have apotheosized stupidity. Collectively, society attacks academics, poets, artists, and scientists as "nerds," "pansies," "wimps," and lightweights. Yet they react to arts and song, they demand the latest gadget, not at all connecting the persons they torment, the groups they loathe and look down on as the source of things that either make their lives easier or give them beauty and meaning. Our news media practices "both sides-ism," and "what about-ism." It used to be flat earthers were those strange people with pamphlets: they have a website. We've democratized the Internet and put a halt on civics and critical thinking. The climate change effects now in Florida, previously in Jackson, Mississippi, can vanish with magical thinking, positive mental attitude mantras, jingoism, and sloganeering. I see why fascism has been, and for the foreseeable future, always will be a temptation: giving allegiance to so-called strongmen (or in Italy's case, a strongwoman) takes the burden of responsibility off the rest of us. We can binge on streaming videos, selective podcasts, and social media newsfeeds. We don't have to venture outside of our self-constructed siloes, since that's where we're the most comfortable.
Fascism is thus for lazy, gaslit people, and it's stupid.
“Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice. One may protest against evil; it can be exposed and, if need be, prevented by the use of force. Evil always carries within itself the germ of its own subversion in that it leaves behind in human beings at least a sense of unease. Against stupidity we are defenseless. Neither protests nor the use of force accomplishes anything here; reasons fall on deaf ears; facts that contradict one’s prejudgment simply need not be believed – in such moments the stupid person even becomes critical – and when facts are irrefutable they are just pushed aside as inconsequential, as incidental. In all this the stupid person, in contrast to the malicious one, is utterly self-satisfied and, being easily irritated, becomes dangerous by going on the attack. For that reason, greater caution is called for when dealing with a stupid person than with a malicious one. Never again will we try to persuade the stupid person with reasons, for it is senseless and dangerous.”
Topics: Civics, Civil Rights, Existentialism, Fascism, Human Rights, Politics
DARVO is an acronym for "deny, attack, and reverse victim and offender". It refers to a reaction that alleged perpetrators of wrongdoing, particularly sexual offenders, may display in response to being held accountable for their behavior. Some researchers and advocates have indicated that it can be a common manipulation strategy of psychological abusers. An abuser (or alleged abuser) denies the abuse ever took place, attacks the person that alleged abuse (often the victim) for attempting to hold the abuser (or alleged abuser) accountable for their actions, and claims that they are actually the victim in the situation, thus reversing what may be a reality of victim and offender. It often involves not just "playing the victim" but also victim blaming.
The Eleventh Circuit Court batted back his hand-picked court stenographer with a blistering decision that if he were to appeal to his stacked no-longer Supreme Court, the faux college fascist Niel Gorsuch, accused rapist frat boy Brett Kavanaugh, and ACTUAL Handmaid (and proud of it) Amy Coney Barrett would have some difficulty trying to find the back-of-the-box Cracker Jack excuse to justify his theft of classified documents, further descending the court's already stained reputation with the Dobb's decision firmly into the marsupial territory. It would probably be the ONLY ruling from which Sam Alito and Clarence Thomas recuse themselves. Chief Justice Roberts, the architect of the court's destruction with the gutting of the Voting Rights Act, would join the actual Justices we have REMAINING on the court - Sotomayer, Kagen, and Jackson in descent not because he agrees but to hide his utter ineptitude at shepherding the third branch of our government.
Update: As of July 7, Roberts requested all law clerk's cell phone records, according to the Brennan Center. It's the legal equivalent of trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube.
As the urban legend goes, the orange toddler attacked his mother, Mary, it frightened her, and she appealed to her husband and the toddler's father, Fred. Fred, being the busy businessman he was - detained at a Klan rally in 1927 (though there's no evidence he was a supporter), and what would become family art - dodging paying his taxes and scurrilous connections with organized crime - sent his middle school toddler to Cornwall Military Academy in upstate New York, because rich, successful businessmen couldn't be bothered with things like setting boundaries for children. When "Todd" came back for, say, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or summer break, Mary and the girls made their way to Europe on holiday, away from the monster they were all culpable in creating by their neglect.
Letitia James, NYS Attorney General, has charged the Trump Organization with fraudulent activities, lying when devaluing their property suited them and increasing the value when applying for loans. That makes wealth fungible, and I now declare by the power of positive thinking that I am worth a gazillion dollars. Two problems: (1) that's an expression, not a numerical measurement, (2) tell that to my bill collectors.
Meanwhile, "back at the ranch": Mango Mussolini's "mini me's" Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis are literally kidnapping Venezuelan migrants and stunt-unloading them in Martha's Vineyard and Vice President Kamala Harris' residence. Also, the key to the cruelty is signing them up for immigration hearings while transporting them to states where the hearings are not taking place.
Abbott was on the Texas Supreme Court, the state Attorney General before ascending to the governor. DeSantis "built a wall" with his toddler son, and was a member of the Tea Party in Congress, again before getting the top gig.
18 U.S. Code 1201: “provides the legal definition of the federal crime of kidnapping: Whoever unlawfully seizes, confines, inveigles, decoys, kidnaps, abducts, or carries away and holds for ransom or reward or otherwise . . . when — the person is willfully transported in interstate or foreign commerce . . . shall be punished by imprisonment for any term of years or [for] life.”
Mini stable genius from Florida used funds to address migrants in Florida to ship them: from Texas. He through "Perla" even left brochures. The problem is, the program removes unauthorized aliens from Florida. Mini blockhead kidnapped authorized asylum seekers from Texas. Veritas after the scheme backfired, went dark.
Well, they're both lawyers. I hope they hire some good ones for when they inevitably get sued, and the court cases go to discovery.
I actually felt sorry for Sean Hannity for the first time in my life. I do admire the fact that he kept a straight face as Dumbo Gambino gave the "declassification by telepathy" defense. When grasping for straws, always go for the "Hillary Clinton emails" because even though after eleven hours of testimony in front of Congress, she didn't have anything to incriminate her, he knows his dwindling herd still hates her more than him.
The meme above is a perfect metaphor for the current place the United States and the world find themselves in: we're all suffering the throes of WGM: white grievance minstrelsy. Everything has to be seen through the lens of prince charming saving the damsel in distress. Hell, we can't even have a black mermaid without some snowflakes having an existential cow over a fictional character. The meme above is a perfect metaphor for the current place in the United States and everything that is coming to a head stems from a throwaway line from Saint Ronnie Reagan's first inaugural address: "Government isn't the solution, [the] government is the problem." So don't expect solutions from the side that repeats this like a positive mental attitude mantra at a multilevel marketing meeting. They've got an echo chamber that blames everything on immigrants, minorities, LGBT, women, and the only solution to the problems of the universe is tax cuts (not, as in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, 42). It's the clear, systematic execution of the Lewis Powell memo, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse noted it as well on his Senate page. We have colors because of the angle of incidence of ultraviolet light. We have races because of politics. Politics also defines in society who is valued, and who is chattel. Politics engineers society so that certain things reinforce themselves so they seem as if they've always been that way and always will be that way. So when someone upsets the apple cart, say, the first African American president in the nation's history, you get birtherism (Abbott sued the Obama administration on days ending in "Y"), the Tea Party (Ron's old turf), the Orwellian "Freedom Caucus" (I guess for every one white, heterosexual, and Christofascist).
They will deny it. They will attack. They will reverse the victim and offender. White evangelicals are textbook examples of DARVO and WGM. They feel persecuted because of their faith when in reality, they are turning people off because of the things they focus on. Instead of spreading the love of Christ, they are themselves driving the young from church due to their bigotry. 81% of them voted for an admitted sexual assaulter and an Olympic-level serial liar labels them as hypocrites. Young procreate if that's important, and churches whose median age matches that of a Fox Propaganda viewer or Russian citizen usually become empty buildings or museums.
Young people have other concerns: student loans for one. The volunteer military replaced the compulsory draft, and Saint Ronnie started gutting state funding for universities that used to be a lot cheaper than they are now, some free and didn't require predatory loans. Desperate young people sign up for the six branches of service - they may get a sign-on bonus, and a GI Bill they can use towards education later: if they don't die in conflict-enriching defense contractors, whose children will not shoulder the burden. This creates an artificial barrier to education that previously lifted low-income people out of poverty, not strapped them with crushing debt.
As his faux empire crumbles and he gets his legal comeuppance, the party he has in his grip loses elections (and is held accountable for anything approaching violence after losing), my hope is to hold the House and Senate this fall, and the presidency in 2024. Then on January 20, 2025, that will truly be a "New Pulse of Morning" (Dr. Maya Angelou, RIP). Maybe we will stop promoting toddlers to carry the nuclear football. Maybe we will have two functioning parties again instead of one. Maybe we will stop worshipping billionaires and oligarchs as "self-made" gods and recognize they used a mix of means legal and illegal to gain such wealth in a single lifetime. Maybe we will stop tribalizing and work together to solve now intractable problems as a human species. Maybe we will finally grow up.
In Japanese folk traditions, they symbolize departing souls or silent, ardent love. Some Indigenous cultures in the Peruvian Andes view them as the eyes of ghosts. And across various Western cultures, fireflies, glow-worms, and other bioluminescent beetles have been linked to a dazzling and at times contradictory array of metaphoric associations: “childhood, crop, doom, elves, fear, habitat change, idyll, love, luck, mortality, prostitution, solstice, stars and fleetingness of words and cognition,” as one 2016 review noted.
Physicists revere fireflies for reasons that might seem every bit as mystical: Of the roughly 2,200 species scattered around the world, a handful has the documented ability to flash in synchrony. In Malaysia and Thailand, firefly-studded mangrove trees can blink on the beat as if strung up with Christmas lights; every summer in Appalachia, waves of eerie concordance ripple across fields and forests. The fireflies’ light shows lure mates and crowds of human sightseers, but they have also helped spark some of the most fundamental attempts to explain synchronization, the alchemy by which elaborate coordination emerges from even very simple individual parts.
Orit Peleg remembers when she first encountered the mystery of synchronous fireflies as an undergraduate studying physics and computer science. The fireflies were presented as an example of how simple systems achieve synchrony in Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos, a textbook by the mathematician Steven Strogatz that her class was using. Peleg had never even seen a firefly, as they are uncommon in Israel, where she grew up.
“It’s just so beautiful that it somehow stuck in my head for many, many years,” she said. But by the time Peleg began her own lab, applying computational approaches to biology at the University of Colorado and at the Santa Fe Institute, she had learned that although fireflies had inspired a lot of math, quantitative data describing what the insects were actually doing was scant.
Currently, there are 118 elements on the periodic table. If a new element is discovered, naming it involves several factors. Elements can be named after how they were obtained, their attributes, the compound they were isolated from, and places they were discovered. However, they can also be named after the people who found them. Fifteen elements have been named after scientists — here are five of them.
A view of Saturn from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captures details of its ring system and atmospheric details on June 20, 2019. NASA, ESA, A. Simon (GSFC), M.H. Wong (University of California, Berkeley), and the OPAL Team/Handout via REUTERS
WASHINGTON, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Call it the case of the missing moon.
Scientists using data obtained by NASA's Cassini spacecraft and computer simulations said on Thursday the destruction of a large moon that strayed too close to Saturn would account both for the birth of the gas giant planet's magnificent rings and its unusual orbital tilt of about 27 degrees.
The researchers named this hypothesized moon Chrysalis and said it may have been torn apart by tidal forces from Saturn's gravitational pull perhaps 160 million years ago - relatively recent compared to the date of the planet's formation more than 4.5 billion years ago.
About 99% of the Chrysalis wreckage appears to have plunged into Saturn's atmosphere while the remaining 1% stayed in orbit around the planet and eventually formed the large ring system that is one of the wonders of our solar system, the researchers said. They chose the name Chrysalis for the moon because it refers to a butterfly's pupal stage before it transforms into its glorious adult form.
"As a butterfly emerges from a chrysalis, the rings of Saturn emerged from the primordial satellite Chrysalis," said Jack Wisdom, a professor of planetary science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and lead author of the study published in the journal Science.
Cool stuff: the diagram shows how the temperature of the caloric material was measured. The plot in the center shows the temperature change in the sample when exposed to a magnetic field. The plot on the right shows the change in temperature when the sample is strained. (Courtesy: Peng Wu et al/Acta Materialia237 118154)
Topics: Global Warming, Green Tech, Materials Science, Solid-State Physics, Thermodynamics
Researchers in China have shown that applying strain to a composite material using an electric field induces a large and reversible caloric effect. This novel way of enhancing the caloric effect without a magnetic field could open new avenues of solid-state cooling and lead to more energy-efficient and lighter refrigerators.
The International Institute of Refrigeration estimates that 20% of all electricity used globally is expended on vapor-compression refrigeration – which is the technology used in conventional refrigerators and air conditioners. What is more, the refrigerants used in these systems are powerful greenhouse gases that contribute significantly to global warming. As a result, scientists are trying to develop more environmentally friendly refrigeration systems.
Cooling systems can also be made from completely solid-state systems, but these cannot currently compete with vapor compression for most mainstream applications. Today, most commercial solid-state cooling systems use the Peltier effect, which is a thermoelectric process that suffers from high cost and low efficiency.
We are excited to announce Project Moonlight, a brand new manga magazine featuring the dopest stories in the medium. Payback is the story of a superpowered mercenary group who find themselves outnumbered, outgunned, and outlawed as the government and other superpowered people aim for their heads.
Haruka x akuraH is what happens when shonen and shojo have a supernatural high-powered baby full of love, loss, and discovering of one’s power.
The magazine also features the return of Black Lotus Dragon a ninjafied tale of revenge in the old west and Outlaws a tale of family ties, personal duty, and mind-blowing superpowers.
Last but certainly not least we have Ken Bugul the story of the eponymous character who inherits an ancient curse sought after by the oppressive Zulu empire in which he lives. After crossing the threshold of the empire's borders he is on the run as he tries to make sense of what his new life means.
Topics: Civics, Civil Rights, Existentialism, Fascism, Human Rights
After my commission to the United States Air Force, I was at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi, attached to Air Training Command, learning about Communications and Computer Systems. One of the things I would be introduced to is ARPANET, there, and at Bergstrom Air Force Base in Austin, Texas, which eventually became the Internet we know.
Leaving college I had a Secret Clearance. To get a Top Secret Clearance (communications were. and are in SCIFs - special compartmentalized information facilities). I had to fill out a long analog form of SF-86, and sit down with an agent from the Defense Investigative Service (I believe this is performed by another agency now).
For most of my classmates, the interview took 15 - 20 minutes. For me, the only African American in the classroom, it extended to TWO HOURS. Finally, the agent had enough:
Agent: Lieutenant, you're the only African American in your training class, and you're the only officer, from the Major down, who's said you've never used marijuana. WHY should I believe you?
Me: Because they came to my neighborhood to buy it, not thinking of the hell they left behind as they went back to their suburbs!
I never saw a man turn so beet red in my life. He was embarrassed and angry.
Agent: You KNOW we're going to interview at least FIVE of your neighbors!
Me: Do me a favor: interview ten. If any of them say I smoked weed, then you'll kick me out of the Air Force with a dishonorable discharge. Otherwise, you can ask me those canned questions for another two hours. You're going to get the same answers.
WHY was I so confident? One, I never did, not in my household. My father was a WWII veteran of the Navy, a heavy ship gunner, and, a ranked boxer. Smoke weed at your own peril! I didn't out of fear, respect, and love for my dad. He like a lot of black men went to fight Hitler's fascism only to encounter it at home. To the agent, I didn't "fit the stereotype."
I did find out he, or some agent, interviewed ten neighbors. I did receive a TS/SCI clearance.
The agent, though biased, was doing his job. It's from this I can say you just DON'T stumble and happenstance transport boxes of classified information to your living quarters.
Kevin McCarthy, the sad excuse of a "leader" for Republicans in the House, wants President Biden to apologize for calling MAGA Republicans "semi-fascists." I beg to differ: (1) the Red Hat Crew call THEMSELVES MAGA Republicans, (2) the Red Hat Crew wear t-shirts like "I'd rather be Russian than a Democrat," a version available on Amazon, and (3) my main critique is you can be no more semi-fascist anymore than any woman in America, who lost their rights to bodily autonomy, can be semi-pregnant. Joseph Robinette Biden is a creature of the Senate, and has fond memories of working across the aisle with "the gentleman from Kentucky," or "the gentleman from West Virginia." The term "gentle lady" would come much later, after slow, and painstaking change. The Senate was from its inception a club of white males. They were initially picked by their state governors so that they would if called to be jurors for, oh say, an impeachment, be impartial, and not beholden to the concerns of statewide elections. That was changed with the 17th Amendment.
This is pablum:
This is not a tweet: it's an electronic pacifier for a spoiled brat. He never received a belt, as would have been the punishment in my household, he never even received "time out." He is the byproduct of what privilege, wealth, and narcissism produces in a human.
Devin Nunes is the "CEO," the only qualification being a sycophant for a demagogue and having a famously hilarious Twitter spat with a fictional cow. Baby Huey owes $1.6 million for hosting fees, in the repeated mistake anyone with a New York Times online or newspaper subscription would tell you that this man never pays any bills! Male polar bears famously impregnate females in heat, then wander off because evolution hasn't given them parenting skills. Similarly, Donald has problems being a normal human. The real Twitter ended him after January 6, 2021, insurrection being the bridge too far for all the other policies he had violated since then. "Truth Social" is as Orwellian as he is insane. His main complaint is how the evidence was staged for the photo. It does not explain why he's the only ex-president that has classified files in his not-a-SCIF office at his public club/hotel.
He seems to not know, or not care that this is publicly available and can be used against him in a court proceeding, particularly if, as it looks like he's (going to be) indicted.
Jeff Teitrich's tweet: “any good lawyer would tell Trump to stop talking, but Trump doesn't have a good lawyer. Trump has a parking garage lawyer.”
He’s a spoiled brat and seems to have ZERO clue that everything he puts out on his failing social media platform becomes part of the public record, and, is open to legal discovery in court proceedings.
But Dumbo Gambino only has the parking garage lawyer.
What incenses me is, that we have these things called cell phones with cameras. The fake Rothchild sounds like a Russian agent. Inna Yashchyshyn, 33, probably wandered in where the documents were with her cell phone. In the 80s, we worried about documents leaving the SCIF physically. Now their images can be posted on a website for access by Guccifer 3.0.
I think he feigned disinterest in the Presidential Daily Briefings. I think he feigned hostility towards the intelligence community. You don't gather that many files willy-nilly on the last moments of January 20th. This was done over time, four years of meticulous, clandestine gathering. Maybe Devin Nunes had a hand in it? His closed-door meetings with Putin were instructional sessions on WHAT to steal, and where to put it so Inna could fake being a Rothchild and come down to Mar-a-Lardo to photograph it and upload it on Telegram.
This is espionage. It doesn't take James Bond or Maxwell Smart, but part of the usual thoroughness of the SF-86 process (Jared Kuschner, the noted exception), is to find weak spots an enemy can exploit. Trump is as self-centered as a polar bear, he doesn't pay his bills, he owes a lot of money, and he's the only presidential candidate in modern history refusing to show his taxes, steadfastly blocking them from a congressional inquiry. Having Michael Cohen sue his military academy, Fordham and U Penn were about vanity: his taxes, I think, would reveal points of leverage that Putin has cultivated for 40 years.
Researchers detected carbon dioxide in WASP-39b’s atmosphere when the exoplanet crossed in front of its star. The data plot shows a telltale blip where infrared wavelengths from the star’s light were absorbed by carbon dioxide on the exoplanet. Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, Leah Hustak (STScI), Joseph Olmsted (STScI)
Topics: Astrophysics, Chemistry, ESA, Exoplanets, James Webb Space Telescope, NASA
The James Webb Space Telescope — already famous for its mesmerizing images of the cosmos — has done it again. The telescope has captured the first unambiguous evidence of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of a planet outside the Solar System.
The finding not only provides tantalizing hints about how the exoplanet formed but is also a harbinger for what’s to come as Webb studies more and more alien worlds. It was reported in a manuscript posted on the preprint server arXiv1, ahead of peer review, and is expected to be published in Nature in the coming days. (Nature’s news team is independent of its journals team.)
The plot, or spectrum, reveals detailed information about the atmosphere of the exoplanet WASP-39b, called a hot Jupiter by scientists because it has a diameter similar to Jupiter’s but orbits its star much more closely than Mercury orbits the Sun, making it incredibly hot. The planet, which is more than 200 parsecs from Earth, was initially discovered during ground-based observations2 and later detected by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, which operated between 2003 and 2020. Data from the latter suggested3 that WASP-39b’s atmosphere might contain carbon dioxide, but they were inconclusive.
Topics: Civics, Civil Rights, Democracy, Existentialism, Fascism, Human Rights
"Maxwell Smart, a highly intellectual but bumbling spy working for the CONTROL agency, battles the evil forces of rival spy agency KAOS with the help of his competent partner Agent 99." Source: Internet Movie Database (1965 - 1970)
COINTELPRO The FBI began COINTELPRO—short for Counterintelligence Program—in 1956 to disrupt the activities of the Communist Party of the United States. In the 1960s, it was expanded to include a number of other domestic groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan, the Socialist Workers Party, and the Black Panther Party. All COINTELPRO operations ended in 1971. Although limited in scope (about two-tenths of one percent of the FBI’s workload over a 15-year period), COINTELPRO was later rightfully criticized by Congress and the American people for abridging first amendment rights and for other reasons. Source: vault.FBI.gov/COINTELPRO
It seems I recall - my parents received two newspapers: the Winston-Salem Journal in the mornings (now the only paper) and the Winston-Salem Sentinal in the evening. If you were a business advertising, you had a higher price for the morning than the evening paper. The evening news consisted of local from 6:00 - 6:30 pm, and national from 6:30 - 7:00 pm. After that, you got the spy series, game shows, or comedy series. They seemed to receive a decent amount of information they felt they needed to be informed, citizens. They and society as a whole also seemed: calmer. Instead of 24 hours of programming on a plethora of channels, which we'll probably never view in a single human lifetime, the television went to a test pattern at midnight. There were a lot fewer insomniacs back then, and we had relief from the blood and angst - at least for brief respites.
The more we learn about the insidiousness that underlies social media in the new documentary "The Social Dilemma," the more it seems like the film is bringing a slingshot to a nuclear war. What we learn in this movie is that our brains are being manipulated and even rewired by algorithms that are designed to get our attention and make us buy things, including buying into distorted ideas about the world, ourselves, and each other.
"The Social Dilemma" is from Jeff Orlowski, who gave us the similarly terrifying "what are we doing to ourselves" documentaries "Chasing Coral" and "Chasing Ice." This one might as well be called "Chasing Us" as it asks fundamental and existential questions about whether we are literally writing (with code) ourselves out of the ability to make vital decisions about our own survival. Source: The Social Dilemma, Roger Ebert dot com
Part of what I remember from the documentary is emotion: anger engages us to click on a display, an ad, or fire off (what we think is) a witty missive in a comments section.
Monomers as metaphors
Monomers can bind with like molecules to form polymers in nature. The Internet has allowed us to combine with like-minded individuals at lightspeed over vast distances. Just because an extremist in North Carolina converses with an extremist in Norway, that they have found a "crew" in a chatroom, that they are vibing off each other, it doesn't mean that each of the other is "right." E.g.: Everyone in the fictional Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane thinks the citizens of Gotham are dumb schmucks and that Batman is a violent, vigilante psychopath (that last part might have a tinge of truth to it). That they would make the Penguin Mayor of Gotham and the Joker President also makes my point: a polymer of individual mental patients grouped together might give itself the name Qanon, and believe Secret Jewish Space Lasers cause fires in California.
Unlike Europe and the United States, Russia has a clear stance on Ukraine. Vladimir Putin’s hope for the future is his Eurasian Union, to be established next January as a rival to the European Union. Belarusian and Kazakh strongmen are game to join his dictators’ club. But since the idea has little popular support anywhere, Eurasian integration can take place only in conditions of Russian domination and local dictatorship. For Mr. Putin, the Eurasian Union would be meaningless without Ukraine. Eurasian ideology is the brainchild of Alexander Dugin, who has never disguised his admiration of fascism. His website publishes Russian strategists who claim that Ukraine is not a sovereign state.
I've read Alexander Dubin's name in Snyder's book, "The Road to Unfreedom." Referred to as "Putin's brain," he may have influenced the war in Ukraine. Two Medium writers, Nadin Brzezinski and B Kean have both suggested that Dugin planned and approved of the assassination of his daughter by the FSB. I'm almost expecting Dr. Evil.
This ain't really a life, ain't really a life, ain't really nothing but a movie. "B-Movie," Gil Scott-Heron, Genius Lyrics
So-called "strongmen" use KAOS/chaos as their toolbox. They're really not strong: Putin, Orban, Xi Jinping, Trump: the tendency towards authoritarianism shows individuals internally insecure with not having the final word or the solution to any problem. It's why Orban seized control of the media in Hungary: can't let those reporters say mean things about his ineptitude. Xi's response to Covid is probably worse than ours if he let his scientists speak to those in the west and share information (this secrecy births conspiracy theories whether they're true or not). Putin was best at turning individuals against their nations but by rank a Lieutenant Colonel and low-level bureaucrat. He seized power by a staged terrorist attack before the year 2000: he exploited Russians' fear and need for security: KAOS/chaos.
A world run by the weakest of men (it's always men) is a world on fire, a societal, psychotic episode, a saturation of 24/7/365 angst: KAOS/chaos.
I can only conclude now the model is KAOS/chaos without a balance of order/CONTROL.
For Hermes, the Greek god of speed, these bacterial sneakers would have been just the ticket. Modern Synthesis co-founders Jen Keane, CEO, and Ben Reeve, CTO, are now setting out to make them available to mere mortals, raising a $4.1 million investment to scale up production. Keane, a graduate from Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in London, and synthetic biologist Reeve, then at Imperial College London, set up Modern Synthesis in 2020 to pursue ‘microbial weaving’.
Their goal is to produce a new class of material, a hybrid/composite that will replace animal- and petrochemical-made sneakers with a biodegradable, yet durable, alternative. The shoe's upper is made by bacteria that naturally produce nanocellulose—Komagataeibacter rhaeticus—and can be further genetically engineered to also self-dye by producing melanin for color.
The process begins with a two-dimensional yarn scaffold shaped by robotics, which the scientists submerge in a fermentation medium containing the cellulose-producing bacteria. The K. rhaeticus ‘weave’ the sneaker upper by depositing the biomaterial on the scaffold. Once the sheets emerge from their microbial baths, they are shaped on shoe lasts following traditional footwear techniques. “It’s more than the sum of its parts,” Reeves says of the biocomposite. “Initially the scaffold helps the bacteria grow, then the microbial yarn reinforces the material: it holds the scaffold together.” Once the shoe is made, it is sterilized and the bacteria are washed out.
Various views of a 3D-printed object are captured by a single camera using a dome-shaped array of mirrors. Left: The raw image. Right: closeups of some of the individual views. (Image: Sanha Cheong, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)
(Nanowerk News) When it goes online, the MAGIS-100 experiment at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and its successors will explore the nature of gravitational waves and search for certain kinds of wavelike dark matter. But first, researchers need to figure out something pretty basic: how to get good photographs of the clouds of atoms at the heart of their experiment.
Researchers at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory realized that task would be perhaps the ultimate exercise in ultra-low light photography.
But a SLAC team that included Stanford graduate students Sanha Cheong and Murtaza Safdari, SLAC Professor Ariel Schwartzman, and SLAC scientists Michael Kagan, Sean Gasiorowski, Maxime Vandegar, and Joseph Frish found a simple way to do it: mirrors. By arranging mirrors in a dome-like configuration around an object, they can reflect more light towards the camera and image multiple sides of an object simultaneously.
And, the team reports in the Journal of Instrumentation ("Novel light field imaging device with an enhanced light collection for cold atom clouds"), that there's an additional benefit. Because the camera now gathers views of an object taken from many different angles, the system is an example of “light-field imaging”, which captures not just the intensity of light but also which direction light rays travel. As a result, the mirror system can help researchers build a three-dimensional model of an object, such as an atom cloud.
Topics: Civics, Civil Rights, Existentialism, Fascism, Human Rights, Star Trek
"It is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence. And the alternative to disarmament, the alternative to a greater suspension of nuclear tests, the alternative to strengthening the United Nations and thereby disarming the whole world, may well be a civilization plunged into the abyss of annihilation, and our earthly habitat would be transformed into an inferno that even the mind of Dante could not imagine."
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is the reason Nichelle Nicoles stayed with Star Trek after the first season. She wanted to return to her first love - theater, and Broadway.
As it turned out, Dr. King was the self-professed biggest fan, and what ensued was life-affirming for Nichelle Nichols. When speaking to NPR, she said: “He complimented me on the manner in which I’d created the character. I thanked him, and I think I said something like, ‘Dr. King, I wish I could be out there marching with you.’ He said, ‘no, no, no. No, you don’t understand… You are marching. You are reflecting what we are fighting for.'”
She continued: “I said, ‘Well, I told Gene just yesterday that I’m going to leave the show after the first year because I’ve been offered…’ — and he stopped me and said: ‘You cannot do that.’ And I was stunned. He said, ‘Don’t you understand what this man has achieved? For the first time, we are being seen the world over as we should be seen.’ He says, ‘Do you understand that this is the only show that my wife Coretta and I will allow our little children to stay up and watch?’ I was speechless.'”
Star Trek is the child of Gene Roddenberry, birthed at the height of the Civil Rights movement. This time was also the period of government surveillance of those same organizations by the FBI via COINTELPRO. It was a Pollyanish vision that two centuries in the future, we would mature from our societal adolescence, our tribal factions, and mature enough to work together, across cultures and worlds. Dr. Maya Angelou said "we grew up" after the inauguration of President Obama. We hoped we had.
Gene and his scriptwriters were products of the Second World War, and the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. Hence, in creative license, they somewhat hinted, that the utopia of the 23rd Century was preceded by a self-imposed, dystopian hellscape.
The war was preceded by the Second Civil War and the Eugenics Wars, all of which were sometimes regarded as parts of a single escalating conflict. It resulted in the deaths of some 30% of the Human population, at least six hundred million people, and the extinction of six hundred thousand species of animals and plants. By the end, most of the major cities had been destroyed and there were few governments left.
If you follow the link for the Second Civil War, it refers to contemporary concerns about a certain twice-impeached Oval Office resident and his rabid followers. The inset of scenes from the January 6th insurrection was ominous and brilliant social commentary in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. The first episode was both social commentary and warning: there are no benevolent Vulcans that will show up to clean up our nuclear mess after the discovery of a superluminal warp drive. With our luck, we'd encounter Klingons or Romulans. Social commentary and hope animated Dr. King's remarks to Nichelle/Uhura.
Social commentary is what Star Trek has always tried to do. Gene Roddenberry appealed to our secular better angels, our shared experience as humans beyond color or culture.
Viktor Orban was in Dallas, Texas yesterday. He received a standing ovation for his remarks about race mixing, the LGBT, and taking over universities and the press. This is fascism. The Republicans in Dallas are true RINOs and should have worn their white sheets. It is the aftermath of their patron saint, Ayn Rand's admiration of a serial killer, William Hickman: cruelty. Only a psychopath can admire a psychopath. Reagan admired Rand. What does it say about a party that makes her words the sacred scripture of apoplectic violence?
The reason fascism seems to be spreading across the globe is the same reason terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda spread across the globe: the Internet. We are now investing more in newsfeeds, tweets, and blogs that we can read on our ineptly-named "smart phones." There have always been factions - they are encouraged by the wealthy. It's better for the rubes to fight each other than use critical thinking on who the theaves are.
“If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best-colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you.”
― Lyndon B. Johnson
People are not leaving their homes because of whims or WWII Nazi survivor George Soros (a familiar racist trope). They are leaving because of failed governments in Central America affected by US trade policies such that there is effectively no middle class. Their daughters will be the prostitutes to drug lords and their sons will be the runners and soldiers for them. They are leaving because of wars in Somalia, Chechnya, and elsewhere so-called "strongmen" punch down on weaker populations. They are leaving because of climate catastrophes that are decimating their nations with floods like those in Kentucky or fires like those in California. Colonizing the Moon or Mars is not a plan - it's a suicide mission, and we don't have any warp-capable starships or a Starfleet. We have a "pale blue dot" Carl Sagan said we live on together. In order to survive on it, we're going to have to share resources and work together.
Savvy demagogues like Orban, Putin, and the criminal who previously had the nuclear codes are using the tribal "fear of the other," the desire not to "mix races" to seize power, with no intention of relinquishing it. It allows the hoarding of resources, wealth, power, and the licensing of cruelty. Weaponizing fear of "others" is also profitable, hence Fox Propaganda and Reich Wing media promoting it. Carotin or Melanin: Every human being on the planet is from the African continent. The variations are the result of migratory patterns, the foods encountered, and the angle of incidence of the sun. We don't need to go to another planet to know that - just pay attention in high school biology, or read a science report.
If we were to colonize the Moon or Mars (hopefully without terraforming with nukes), in a hundred years, the colonists would no longer look like Earthlings: they would be Lunarians and Martians, and due to their wildly different environments, they could not come back to Earth. One of the things Star Trek probably got right: under similar conditions - a planet in the "Goldilocks" zone, with similar gravity and atmosphere, aliens on those worlds would probably develop into similar physical structures, similar skin variations.
We are being held hostage by so-called "white" men hoarding resources to themselves in the deluded notion they could survive a full-scale collapse of civilization and life on Earth. Diversity or dystopia. A beloved community or extinction.
"We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."
“The aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the beloved community. The aftermath of nonviolence is redemption. The aftermath of nonviolence is reconciliation. The aftermath of violence is emptiness and bitterness.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Searches for alien civilizations often involve listening for radio transmissions from distant stars, but the possible extraterrestrial origins of UFOs have some scientists looking closer to home. Credit: Luc Novovitch/Alamy Stock Photo
Topics: Astrophysics, NASA, SETI
I was startled, to say the least, that this story appears in Scientific American, and that NASA and theoretical astrophysicist Avi Loeb is interested in it. The nut job "giggle factor" has given way to curiosity about things humans cannot explain, and that bothers us as a species.
My concern is if the question "are we alone?" has the answer "we are not," the next question is "why Earth?" What if the answer is "because we're someone's territory," and they regard Homo Sapiens (the only race we truly are) as a bipedal herd? That gives for the pilots of UAPs (if any found) humanity the same regard as we give a frog on a dissecting table.
On June 9, with only a few hours' notice, NASA held a press conference to announce a study it was commissioning on unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs). The acronym is a rebranding of what is more popularly known as unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, a topic usually associated with purported extraterrestrial visitations and government conspiracy theories. The question on the public’s mind was why one of the U.S.’s premier scientific agencies was getting involved in something often considered to be at the farthest fringes of respectability.
Yet the pronouncement also fit in with the suddenly more open-minded zeitgeist regarding UAPs. Last year saw the publication of a much-anticipated report on the Department of Defense’s own investigations into the subject, following the release of first-person accounts and video from U.S. fighter pilots claiming to show encounters with strange objects in the skies. High-profile coverage in mainstream media and open congressional hearings about UAPs have kept the matter circulating in the public realm. A month after the Pentagon’s report came out, theoretical astrophysicist Avi Loeb, former chair of Harvard University’s astronomy department, announced a private initiative called the Galileo Project, which is aimed at searching for potential evidence of alien technology here on Earth.
What NASA can bring to this discussion is as yet unclear. The agency has set aside a slim $100,000 for the nine-month study—less than the typical funding it provides for exploratory studies of unconventional technologies such as space telescopes with kilometer-scale mirrors or interstellar probes propelled by giant laser beams. Helmed by the well-respected Princeton University astrophysicist David Spergel, the investigation intends to identify existing and future data sets scientists could use to advance their understanding of UAPs. Even if it uncovers little of interest, the study’s existence suggests that something the agency once avoided talking about at all costs is on the cusp of becoming an appropriate topic of inquiry.
Fig. 1. SARS-CoV-2 N is expressed on the surface of live cells early during infection. (A) Maximum intensity projections of laser confocal microscopy z-stack images of infected Vero cells with wt SARS-CoV-2 (top) or SARS-CoV-2_eGFP, stained live at 24 hpi (MOI = 1). Scale bars, 20 μm. Images are representative of at least three independent experiments with similar results. DAPI, 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole. (B) Flow cytometry analyses of Vero cells inoculated with wt (top) or eGFP-expressing (bottom) SARS-CoV-2 (MOI = 1), stained live at 24 hpi against SARS-CoV-2 S and N proteins. Representative dot plots of flow cytometry analyses showing double staining of surface S, N, and eGFP proteins, indicating the percentage of the gated cell population for each quadrant of the double staining. Data are representative of at least three independent experiments, each performed with triplicate samples. (C and D) Time course of surface S, N, and eGFP protein expression in live infected Vero cells with wt (C) and eGFP reporter (D) SARS-CoV-2 at 8 and 12 hpi (MOI = 1). Representative histogram overlays of surface S, N, and intracellular eGFP proteins of flow cytometry analyses. Data are representative of one experiment of at least two independent experiments performed in triplicate.
Topics: Biology, COVID-19, Research
SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein (N) induces strong antibody (Ab) and T cell responses. Although considered to be localized in the cytosol, we readily detect N on the surface of live cells. N released by SARS-CoV-2–infected cells or N-expressing transfected cells binds to neighboring cells by electrostatic high-affinity binding to heparan sulfate and heparin, but not other sulfated glycosaminoglycans. N binds with high affinity to 11 human chemokines, including CXCL12β, whose chemotaxis of leukocytes is inhibited by N from SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-1, and MERS-CoV. Anti-N Abs bound to the surface of N-expressing cells activate Fc receptor-expressing cells. Our findings indicate that cell surface N manipulates innate immunity by sequestering chemokines and can be targeted by Fc-expressing innate immune cells. This, in combination with its conserved antigenicity among human CoVs, advances its candidacy for vaccines that induce cross-reactive B and T cell immunity to SARS-CoV-2 variants and other human CoVs, including novel zoonotic strains.
Projected temperature change for mid-century (left) and end-of-century (right) in the United States under higher (top) and lower (bottom) emissions scenarios. The brackets on the thermometers represent the likely range of model projections, though lower or higher outcomes are possible. Source: USGCRP (2009)
Every year, more than 600 people die from extreme heat. Dizziness, muscle cramps, and vomiting are telltale signs it’s time to cool down, according to Zach Harris, medical director of emergency services at Norton Hospital.
“If you’re so hot that you start to not feel good, that’s the right time to go inside or find some shade or some way to cool down,” Harris said.
Older adults, young children, and people with chronic illnesses are most at risk, but even healthy adults can experience heat-related illness, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Governor Andy Beshear confirmed Monday evening that the death toll has risen to at least 37. The governor says refrigerator trucks are serving as mobile morgues to hold bodies as they are flown to the medical examiner’s office in Frankfort.
We have already observed global warming over the last several decades. Future temperatures are expected to change further. Climate models project the following key temperature-related changes.
Key global projections
Increases in average global temperatures are expected to be within the range of 0.5°F to 8.6°F by 2100, with a likely increase of at least 2.7°F for all scenarios except the one representing the most aggressive mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.
Except under the most aggressive mitigation scenario studied, the global average temperature is expected to warm at least twice as much in the next 100 years as it has during the last 100 years.
Ground-level air temperatures are expected to continue to warm more rapidly over land than in oceans.
Some parts of the world are projected to see larger temperature increases than the global average.
The design concept of BWXT Advanced Nuclear Reactor. BWX Technologies
Topics: Applied Physics, Alternate Energy, Climate Change, Nuclear Power
According to the US Energy Information Administration, the US uses a mixture of 60.8% fossil fuel sources to generate 2,504 billion kilowatt hours of energy. Our nuclear expenditure is a paltry 18.9%. The totality of renewable sources (wind, hydropower, solar, biomass, and geothermal) is a little higher: 20.1%. This is the crux of the "Green New Deal."
Though I long for the cleaner, neater version of nuclear power in fusion, it's kind of hard to mimic the pressures and magnetic fields necessary to spark essentially a mini sun on the planet. I think the resistance to nuclear fission is cultural: from the atomic bomb, Oppenheimer quoting the Bhagavad-Gita at the first successful testing, a classic "what have we done" trope. Popular fiction emphasizes doomsday scenarios and radioactive zombies. Honorable mention: Space 1999, which like zombies I doubt could ever happen, but it kept my attention in my youth. There are also genuine concerns about Chernobyl (still in Ukraine), Three-Mile Island, and Fukushima Daichi that come to the public's mind.
The reason the percentages on fossil fuels are so high is that they release extreme amounts of energy to superheat water for turbines to turn magnets superfast in copper coils. That is how most of the electricity we consume is made.
France currently generates 70% of its energy from nuclear power plants, with plans to reduce this to 50% as they mix in renewables. This is proportional to the percentage the US already has in renewables. My only caveat is an obsolescence plan for solar panels (they have to be implanted with caustic impurities to MAKE them conductive, and after twenty years, could end up in a landfill near humans). Battery-operated vehicles are fine, but Lithium has to be mined, it requires a lot of water, typically the indigenous peoples near the mines don't make a profit, and their land and resources are spoiled.
If we truly are going to transition from fossil fuels to "cleaner energy," I think we should realize that power plant designs have improved greatly since the aforementioned disasters.
As an engineer, I always tried to follow this edict from my father: "Experience isn't the best teacher: other people's experiences are the best teacher." In short, learn from others' mistakes, and try to not repeat them. It works in other nontechnical areas of life as well.
I (fingers crossed) assume nuclear power plant design engineers follow something similar to improve on future designs for safety, and as we've been exposed to with the war in Ukraine, global energy security.
I'm proposing an "everything on the table strategy," not Pollyanna. By the way, our "carbon footprint" appears to be a boondoggle by the industries that caused our current malaise.
The U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program commonly referred to as ARDP, is designed to help our domestic nuclear industry demonstrate its advanced reactor designs on accelerated timelines. This will ultimately help us build a competitive portfolio of new U.S. reactors that offer significant improvements over today’s technology.
The advanced reactors selected for risk-reduction awards are an excellent representation of the diverse designs currently under development in the United States. They range from advanced light-water-cooled small modular reactors to new designs that use molten salts and high-temperature gases to flexibly operate at even higher temperatures and lower pressures.
All of them have the potential to compete globally once deployed. They will offer consumers more access to a reliable, clean power source that can be depended on in the near future to flexibly generate electricity, drive industrial processes, and even provide potable drinking water to communities in water-scarce locations.