"Using a precision formation-flying technique, the twin GRAIL spacecraft will map the moon’s gravity field, as depicted in this artist’s rendering. detail. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech."
“PASADENA, Calif. – NASA’s Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL)-A spacecraft is within 24 hours of its insertion burn that will place it into lunar orbit. At the time the spacecraft crossed the milestone at 1:21 p.m. PST today (4:21 p.m. EST), the spacecraft was 30,758 miles (49,500 kilometers) from the moon.
Launched aboard the same rocket on Sept. 10, 2011, GRAIL-A’s mirror twin, GRAIL-B, is also closing the gap between itself and the moon. GRAIL-B is scheduled to perform its lunar orbit insertion burn on New Year’s Day (Jan. 1) at 2:05 p.m. PST (5:05 p.m. EST).
As they close in on the moon, both orbiters move toward the moon from the south, flying nearly directly over the lunar south pole. The lunar orbit insertion burn for GRAIL-A will take approximately 40 minutes to complete and change the spacecraft’s velocity by about 427 mph (687 kph). GRAIL-B’s insertion burn – occurring 25 hours later — will last about 39 minutes and is expected to change its velocity by 430 mph (692 kph).
The insertion maneuvers will place each orbiter into a near-polar, elliptical orbit with an orbital period of 11.5 hours. Over the following weeks, the GRAIL team will execute a series of burns with each spacecraft to reduce their period down to just under two hours. At the start of the science phase in March 2012, the two GRAILs will be in a near-polar, near-circular orbit with an altitude of about 34 miles (55 kilometers).
During the science phase, the moon will rotate three times underneath the GRAIL orbit. The collection of gravity data over one complete rotation (27.3 days) is referred to as a Mapping Cycle. When science collection begins, the spacecraft will transmit radio signals precisely defining the distance between them as they orbit the moon in formation. Regional gravitational differences on the moon are expected to expand and contract that distance. GRAIL scientists will use these accurate measurements to define the moon’s gravity field. The data will allow mission scientists to understand what goes on below the surface of our natural satellite. This information will help us learn more about how the moon, Earth and other terrestrial planets formed.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages the GRAIL mission. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, is home to the mission’s principal investigator, Maria Zuber. The GRAIL mission is part of the Discovery Program managed at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.”
“Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.”—C. S. Lewis (via ermarty)
I love books. The ability to be sitting in a crowd of people and yet still being able to escape into a whole new world. Reading will never be outdated or forgotten, because our imagination and mind crave them. The feeling of slipping into other worlds for a while is one of the greatest ways to treat yourself.
"In 1924, the last Gray wolf in California was killed by a trapper, marking a sad end for a species long embroiled in conflict with humans in the western United States. But now, following years of dedication on the part of conservationists to reintroduce the animals to their native habitats, things are looking up as a single, adventuresome wolf has entered back into the Golden State — the first of its kind to be seen there in nearly 80 years.
Researchers have been tracking the lone, wild wolf, dubbed OR7, via a GPS-enabled collar since he departed from his pack’s stomping grounds in northern Oregon last month. In just a matter of weeks, the juvenile male walked some 730 miles to the state’s border with California. From some, idea in the cattle ranching community, the prospect of gray wolves returning was regrettable news, though for others it marked a welcome comeback.
"Whether one is for it or against it, the entry of this lone wolf into California is an historic event," says Charlton Bonham of the Department of Fish and Game to the Sacramento Bee.
Since wolves were first reintroduced to Yellowstone Park in the mid-1990s, biologists have been awaiting their eventual return to regions, like in California, where they had been previously eliminated.
The fish and game department expects other wolves to arrive in California at some point as part of a slow wolf migration linked to the 1995 introduction of a Canadian gray wolf pack to Idaho and areas around Yellowstone National Park. Wolves first re-entered Oregon in 1999.
Multiple wolves in California could lead to new packs becoming established, or they could simply wander on.
"If the gray wolf does establish a population in California, there will be much more work to do here," Bonham said."
“Indians killed at Wounded Knee, December 29, 1890”
(From “The Wounded Knee Interviews Of Eli S. Ricker”; p. 176-178)
1. Chief Big Foot 2. Mrs. Big Foot 3. Horned Cloud 4. Mrs. Horned Cloud 5. William Horned Cloud, son 6. Sherman Horned Cloud, son
7. Pretty Enemy, niece 8. Mrs. Beard, daughter-in-law 9. Thomas Beard, grandson 10. Shedding Bear 11. Trouble In Front, son 12. Last Running 13. Red White Cow, daughter 14. Mother-in-law of Shedding Bear 15. High Hawk 16. Mrs. High Hawk 17. Little Boy, son 18. Little Girl, daughter 19. Whirl Wind Hawk 20. Mrs. Whirl Wind Hawk 21. Young Lady, daughter 22. Young Girl, daughter 23. Little Girl, daughter 24. Little Boy, son 25. Little Boy, son 26. He Crow 27. Pretty Woman, daughter 28. Buckskin Breech Clout 29. Running in Lodge, son 30. White Feather, son 31. Little Boy, son 32. Bear Woman, the oldest woman in the band 33. Crazy Bear 34. Elk Creek 35. Mrs. Elk Creek 36. Spotted Chief, son 37. Red Fish 38. Mrs. Red Fish 39. Old Good Bear 40. Young Good Bear 41. Mrs. Good Bear 42. Little Boy, son 43. Pretty Hawk 44. Mrs. Pretty Hawk 45. Baby Pretty Hawk 46. Mrs. Lap 47. Shoots the Right 48. Bad Wound, son 49. Bear Parts Body 50. Little Boy, son 51. Brown Beaver 52. White Beaver Woman 53. Black Coyote (the one who made the touble) 54. Red Water Woman 55. Sun In The Pupil 56. Mrs. Sun In The Pupil 57. Henry Three, or Pretty Bold Eagle 58. Iron Eyes (Big Foot’s brother) 59. Mrs. Iron Eyes 60. Has a Dog 61. Red Shirt Girl 62. Pretty Woman 63. Albert Iron Eyes 64. White Day 65. Little Boy, son 66. Charge at Them 67. Old Woman, mother 68. Mrs. Iron American 69. Mrs. Yellow Buffalo Calf 70. Louis Close to Home 71. Cast Away and Run 72. Bad Braves 73. Red Horn 74. Winter 75. Strong Fox 76. Mrs. Strong Fox 77. Little Boy, son 78. One Feather 79. Little Boy, son 80. Without Robe 81. Old Man Yellow Bull 82. Mrs. Old Man Yellow Bull 83. Brown Woman 84. Shakes the Bird 85. Red Ears Horse 86. Shoots with Hawk Feather 87. His mother 88. Ghost Horse 89. Little Boy, son 90. Chief Woman 91. Mrs. Trouble in Love 92. Hat 93. Baby boy 94. Mrs. Stone Hammer 95. Little baby 96. Wolf Eagle 97. Good Boy, son 98. Edward Wolf Ears 99. Little Girl 100. Shoots the Bear 101. Kills Assiniboine 102. George Shoots the Bear 103. Mrs. Shoots the Bear 104. Kills Crow Indian 105. Little Body Bear 106. Mrs. Little Body Bear 107. Little Boy, son 108. Baby girl 109. Red Eagle (This man was in the tent and killed by the cannon. Ricker’s note.) 110. Eagle Body, daughter 111. Little Girl 112. Little Elk 113. Mrs. Little Elk 114. Black Shield’s little girl 115. White Wolf 116. Red Ears Horse, sister 117. Old Woman, her mother 118. Wood Shade 119. Mrs. Wood Shade 120. Running Stand Hairs 121. Mrs. Running Stand Hairs 122. Young lady, daughter 123. Scabbard Knife 124. Mrs. Scabbard Knife 125. He Eagle 126. Mrs. He Eagle 127. Edward He Eagle, son 128. Young girl, daughter 129. Young boy, son 130. Log 131. Mrs. Log 132. Really Woman, son 133. Brown Hoops 134. Little boy, son 135. Young girl, daughter 136. Mule’s daughter, young lady 137. Red Other Woman 138. Black Flutes, young boy 139. Takes away the Bow 140. Gray in Eye 141. Mrs. Drops Blood 142. Young boy, son 143. Little boy, son 144. Old Woman 145. Mrs. Long Bull 146. Young girl, daughter 147. Spotted Thunder 148. Swift Bird 149. Mrs. Swift Bird 150. Boy, son 151. Boy, son 152. Strike Scatter 153. Boy, son 154. Wolf Skin Necklace 155. Last Talking, old woman. She is alone, her property, two horses, bedding, and lodge 156. Not go in Among, son of Hailing Bear, and Her Good Medicine 157. Wounded Hand 158. Comes Out Rattling, wife 159. Big Voice Thunder 160. Mercy to Others 161. Long Medicine 162. Broken Arrow 163. Mrs. Broken Arrow 164. Young Man 165. Young Woman 166. Brown Turtle 167. Old Woman, mother 168. Bird Wings 169. Not Afraid of Lodge 170. Bear Comes and Lies 171. Wears Calf’s Robe 172. Yellow Robe 173. Wounded in Winter, son 174. Mrs. Black Hair 175. Bad Spotted Eagle - a Cree Indian 176. Mrs. Bad Spotted Eagle (the above were visiting Big Foot’s tribe) 177. White American 178. Long Bull 179. Courage Bear 180. Mrs. Courage Bear 181. Fat Courage Bear 182. George Courage Bear 183. Black Hawk 184. She Bear, wife 185. Weasel Bear, daughter (Joe Horn Cloud added Weasel Bear when we were running this list over. Ricker.)
In a bid to protect its local food producers, the country has approved a law establishing a moratorium on income and production of genetically modified organisms.
Peru’s President Ollanta Humala said the decision was made after hearing ‘the cries of agricultural organisations and civil society to take this important step in the defence of our biodiversity’.
Earlier this year, the administration of the outgoing Peruvian President slipped in a decree which opened the door for GM seeds. But the subsequent outcry forced not only the resignation of the Agriculture Minister, who had introduced the decree, but also a 10-year ban on GMOs.
However, that ban was not signed into law by the outgoing Administration, so in November the new Peruvian Congress overwhelmingly approved the ban once again.
The site also states that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced it will allow unlimited planting of a genetically modified variety of corn designed by Monsanto to be resistant to certain kinds of droughts. The company and the USDA have both admitted the crop will fare only modestly better than current conventional varieties under low- and moderate-level drought conditions. This means this corn will be useful only for a fraction of corn acres – just 15 per cent by USDA estimates. Great.
The U.S. House is currently debating the Stop Online Piracy Act (H.R. 3261), better known as SOPA. As mentioned in our previous analysis, SOPA has the potential to create devastating harm to internet businesses, as it allows sites to be taken down if any user posts links to infringing content.
For example, if a site’s user policy explicitly forbid posting links to copyrighted material and one rogue user posted such content, the entire business could be effectively killed for however many weeks or days it took to remove the offending links and pass a complaint through the gears of bureaucracy. The solution appears to be sort of like chopping your leg off to fight an ingrown toenail.
I. All Onboard the Congressional Pirates Train
Now a particularly ironic fact has come to light — it appears that IP addresses belonging to the offices of members of Congress have been downloading content illegally via BitTorrent.
TorrentFreakused Hurricane Electric’s handy list of assigned IP blocks (found here) to track down which IP addresses belong to the offices of members of Congress. And lo and behold, when those addresses were compared to results on YouHaveDownloaded, a torrent tracking site, they yielded over 800 hits.
Now to put this in context YouHaveDownloaded tracks only a tiny portion of torrent traffic, so it appears that Congress — even as they look to punish lesser mortals for file sharing — are themselves gleefully committing a “smash and grab” as Vice President Joe Biden (D) once put it.
Much of the pirated materials appeared to be adult self-help or education books such as “Crucial Conversations- Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High” and “How to Answer Hard Interview Questions And Everything Else You Need to Know to Get the Job You Want”.
A fair amount of useful software — like Microsoft Corp.’s (MSFT) Windows 7 Ultimate Edition — was also pirated.
But other pirated works appeared to be purely stolen for pleasure. For example one individual within the halls of Congress downloaded a season of Sons of Anarchy, a TV show on News Corp.’s (NWS) FX channel. Another download appeared to be more “adult” in nature — “Gangland Cream Pie 21” (we’re guessing that’s not an educational baking special).
II. Editorial/Analysis: Should we be Surprised that Politicians are Hypocrites?
Is it surprising that the office of Congress are pirating even as they plot to chop the legs off of online business, further crippling the struggling U.S. economy, and raise taxes to further punitive punishments for filesharing that are already grossly disproportionate with offline offenses? Is it surprising that federal politicians or bureaucrats are pirating even as they plan to imprison Americans for streaming sports events, injecting even more Americans into the crowded penal system at a time when America imprisons more of its citizens than any nation in the world?
If Americans wants unbiased political representation — human beings who truly wish the best for their well being — why would they allow special interests to pay federal politicians’ way into office? Clearly you’re the boss of who pays you, and when it comes to politicians, their boss isn’t the American people.
Is intellectual property protection important? Of course. These government pirates are just as much in the wrong as the members of the public, as they’re ultimately stealing work, denying hard working software engineers, actors, musicians, etc. funds.
But at the end of the day that SOPA and its propents aren’t engaging in some lofty moral stand, they’re just looking to smack down the little guy with punitive punishments, even as the nation’s economy lurches and as they or their aids merrily pirate away.
Fun fact, in your prefrontal dopaminergic cortex and of the parts dorsal and ventral, one structure helps to incorporate emotion into your decision making. So there may very well be a good reason why some people are more likely to make decisions based on emotion.
Extra fun fact. Due to the differences in melatonin due to hours of light in winter vs summer, babies born in different times of the year have characteristic differences within this structure.
"When I was a kid, I dressed up as a farmer for a school costume party. From the beat up straw hat to the denim overalls, it was (as are most attempts at kids’ dress up) an exercise in cliche repetition. Nevertheless, it strikes me that many people still have a pretty 2-dimensional, stereotypical view of your average farmer.
The video below, created by Kevin Kossowan, was the winner of The Perennial Plate video competition I posted on last week. It is a fine example of what happens when you ask a question of a responsible, innovative farmer and just listen to what they have to say. It’s something we should all do a little more of.”