For about 300 years Jupiter's banded atmosphere has shown a remarkable feature to telescopic viewers, a large swirling storm system known as The Great Red Spot. In 2006, another red storm system appeared, actually seen to form as smaller whitish oval-shaped storms merged and then developed the curious reddish hue. Now, Jupiter has a third red spot, again produced from a smaller whitish storm. All three are seen in this image made from data recorded on May 9 and 10 with the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. The spots extend above the surrounding clouds and their red color may be due to deeper material dredged up by the storms and exposed to ultraviolet light, but the exact chemical process is still unknown. For scale, the Great Red Spot has almost twice the diameter of planet Earth, making both new spots less than one Earth-diameter across. The newest red spot is on the far left (west), along the same band of clouds as the Great Red Spot and is drifting toward it. If the motion continues, the new spot will encounter the much larger storm system in August. Jupiter's recent outbreak of red spots is likely related to large scale climate change as the gas giant planet is getting warmer near the equator.
If you're tracking the nuclear power revival in America, last Tuesday, September 25, was a milestone. For the first time since 1973, a new application for building a reactor was placed before the federal government...
Soon these new owners -- heavily staffed with veterans from the nuclear Navy -- were revitalizing the industry.
The results have been stunning. Whereas power plants traditionally ran at a "capacity factor" of 60 percent -- meaning they are up and running 60 percent of the time -- the nation's 104 reactors now run at a previously unimaginable capacity of 90 percent. (In South Korea, where nuclear provides half the electricity, the figure is 95 percent.) The average nuclear plant now runs uninterrupted for nearly two years before shutting down for refueling. Safety improvements have been spectacular. While there were 26 shutdowns of more than a year for safety reasons from 1987 to 1997 and 21 in the decade before, there has only been one over the past decade....
Yet even the best conservation scenarios only stabilize current consumption. (California has been able to accomplish this.) That still leaves us producing for 50 percent of our electricity with coal -- a billion tons a year that put three billions tons of CO2 into the atmosphere [That can't be right. How can burning one ton of coal yield three tons of CO2? - THC]. That's 40 percent of the nation's greenhouse gases and 20 percent of the world's. "When it comes to providing our baseload electricity, the only choice is between coal and nuclear," says David Crane, of NRG. "You simply can't be serious about global warming and against nuclear power."(emphasis added)
Of course, Greens are religiously fanatical, not scientific, so opposing nuclear power will not pose the slightest problem for them. It will be very interesting to see how this goes, though -- will the Greens be able to whip the American public into anti-nuclear hysteria again? I don't think so. They're about to discover they've over-played their global warming hand badly.
Global warming is an entirely natural phenomenon and its effects can even be beneficial, according to two leading researchers. Recent climate change is not caused by man-made pollution, but is instead part of a 1,500-year cycle of warming and cooling that has happened for the last million years, say the authors of a controversial study.
Dennis Avery, an environmental economist, and Professor Fred Singer, a physicist, have looked at the work of more than 500 scientists and concluded that it is very doubtful that man-made global warming exists. They also say that temperature increase is actually a good thing as in the past sudden cool periods have killed twice as many people as warm spells...
In contrast, they say there is evidence that wildlife is flourishing in the current warming cycle with corals, trees, birds, mammals and butterflies adapting well. In addition, sea-levels are not rising dramatically and storms and droughts have actually been less severe and frequent.
The authors claim that the change is not man-made because the most recent period of global warming took place between 1850 and 1940 when there were far less CO2 emissions than today. They claim to show strong historical evidence of an entirely natural cycle based on data of floods on the Nile going back 5,000 years. Evidence is citing showing records of Roman wine production in Britain in the first century AD.
Prof Singer, a specialist in atmospheric physics at the University of Virginia, said: "We have a greenhouse theory with no evidence to support it, except a moderate warming turned into a scare by computer models whose results have never been verified with real-world events. "The models only reflect the warming, not its cause." They also say that natural temperature change can be caused by fluctuations in the sun.
Well, duh and I told you so. It was just so obvious, wasn't it? And yet the chattering class of the entire world fell for it hook, line, and sinker. Maybe soon we'll be able to get to work on real environmental problems.
Nope. I'm not granting them the shield of good intentions anymore. Greens don't care whom they hurt in the pursuit of their idea of religious perfection any more than Islamic fascists do. Case in point:
Tonight, PBS will air "Gold Futures," a film by Hungary's Tibor Kocsis. The film focuses on residents in Romania's Rosia Montana, a rural Transylvanian town, who are divided over the benefits of a proposed gold mine. It also features Gabriel Resources, the Canadian mining company trying to convince them to relocate so it can dig for a huge gold deposit estimated at 14.6 million ounces, worth almost $10 billion. PBS describes the film as a "David-and-Goliath story."
While the film gives time to supporters and opponents of the mine, it leaves unsaid that half of the villagers voicing opposition have now either sold their homes or will not have to move, because they live in a protected area where the village's historic structures and churches will be preserved. Viewers who see pristine shots of the Rosia valley won't realize the hills hide a huge, abandoned communist-era mine, leaking toxic heavy metals into local streams--or that while the modern mining project will level four hills to create an open pit, it will also clean up the old mess at no cost to the Romanian treasury. ...
There's plenty of typical Lefty manipulation -- fake but accurate -- in the story:
Mr. McAleer, a former Financial Times journalist who has followed the mine battle for seven years, says he "found that everything the environmentalists were saying about the project was misleading, exaggerated or quite simply false." He produced his film on a shoestring $230,000 budget largely provided by Gabriel Resources, but says he was given complete editorial control.
The Gabriel funding caused environmental groups to label the film "propaganda" and demand the National Geographic Society cancel plans to rent its Washington, D.C., theater to the free-market Moving Picture Institute for a screening. The Institute notes opponents rarely challenge the film's facts. As for Mr. Kocsis's documentary, his Flora Film corporate Web site lists as its partners Greenpeace, the Hungarian Ministry of Environment and the George Soros-backed Energy Club of Hungary, all of which oppose the Romanian project on either environmental or nationalistic grounds (Transylvania used to be part of Hungary). ...
"Local opposition to the mine is strong and organized" says a statement signed by 80 environmental groups in January.
80 environmental groups opposing one little mine! Talk about a gold rush...
In his letter, Mr. Soros cites a recent poll organized by some members of Romania's parliament that "found 90% of respondents rejecting the project." But the poll turns out to be an unscientific Internet survey, and one of the environmental groups Mr. Soros funds urged people outside Romania to participate in it. What is clear: Two-thirds of Rosia Montana's people have accepted Gabriel's voluntary offer to buy their homes at above market rates....
Mr. McAleer tells me such encounters should wake up people "who, like myself, unquestionably believed environmentalists were a force for good in the world."... (emphasis added)
If the gold mine goes ahead, then the toxic mess from the old communist mine will be cleaned up. If not, then it won't be. Yet those labeled Greens oppose the mine. Why do you think that is?
I know how it usually goes with these kinds of fraternity things; what with starting up a medical practice, honor killing obligations, and starting a family, it's easy to lose touch with the old school buddies. But this thing -- our thing -- was serious, you know? Thanks to email we were able to keep in touch and keep the plan going. As luck would have it, we all won Achmedinijad scholarships to do our residencies in England for the National Health Service. We got our families together most every weekend for backyard cookouts and self-flagellation and TV football matches. Afterwards me and the other guys would slip out to the garage for cigars, and to pack shrapnel.
So okay, the big weekend arrives, and the guys come over to my place bright and early, everybody's jazzed about rolling up some kufr carnage. All the propane tanks and propellant and nail cannisters are ready to go. I look at Ali and say, "okay mate, back up your car to the garage and I'll start loading it up." He gets this dumbstruck look on his face and says, "my car? I thought Hassan was going to do the martyrdom." And then Hassan does a massive spit-take with his tea, and he's like, "whoa dude, I rigged the cell phones, I didn't agree to blow up. I thought Mohammed was going to do the blowing up." Then Mohammed's like, "don't look at me, pal, I thought I was just providing the spiritual guidance. Plus my car's in the shop for transmission work." From there it just descended into this big shouting match. Holy frickin' prophet, two years of planning this prank and now everybody wants to pussy out on the actual martyrdom.
Long story short, we decided to draw straws. And guess who wins? Yep, yours truly, good old sucker Khalid, the same guy with a pile of charge card receipts for petrol and propane and hardware. The same guy who ended up having to host two thirds of the martyrdom planning parties at HIS house, because his good old college "pals" always have some convenient excuse about "kitchen remodeling" or "MI6 surveillance," and never lift a finger to help clean up the empty bottles or paper plates or the C5 mess. Well, you know what they say: no good deed goes unpunished. Then the other short straw get pulled by Bilal, and I'm like, oh, great. Now I'll be banging some celestial virgin with that wanker looking over my shoulder...
Edwards wants to repeal them right now. Obama has already spent them. Does anyone remember what the allowing the Bush Tax Cuts to come back to life would mean? George Will:
The five income tax brackets (10, 25, 28, 33 and 35 percent) will be increased 50, 12, 10.7, 9.1 and 13.1 percent, respectively, to 15, 28, 31, 36 and 39.6 percent. The child tax credit reverts to $500 from $1,000. The estate tax rate, which falls to zero in 2009, will snap back to a 60 percent maximum, and exemptions that have increased will decrease. The capital gains rate will rise, and the marriage penalty will be revived, as will the double taxation of dividends.
Dem's & Lefties have been moaning about the "tax cuts for the rich" for so long now that alot of folks just believe it. But if you look at that paragraph above, there's a really good chance that you're in it. YOU, my friend, and your friends and neighbors, are going to get creamed if the Bush Tax Cuts are allowed to expire.
And the Democrats have all publicly and repeatedly condemned the Bush Tax Cuts.
Have a kid? Are you married? Do you have a job? Are you going to inherit anything in the next couple of decades? Own stocks or mutual funds? Have a pension? Or do you plan on having any of those happy conditions at any time in your life? If you answered "yes" to any of those questions, then the Dem's have promised to increase your taxes. There is no doubt that they would make good on such a promise. They will try to sell it as taxes for the rich, but me and the rest of us on the Right will be here to let folks know how they're being swindled.
You can count on us.
There's a lot the President has not done to my satisfaction, but this time-delayed IED of expiring tax cuts is one of his greatest tricks. It is going to go off right under the up-armored HUMVEE of the Democrat campaign. I love it when a plan comes together.
I hate arguments made with anecdotal evidence.But since everyone likes their own anecdotes, why should I be any different?
I don’t have a Medical Savings Account, but I do have catastrophic health insurance.It’s just like regular health insurance except I have to pay the first $5,000 of medical expenses per year out of pocket.That makes me sensitive to medical pricing.Indeed, it makes me a bit too reluctant to get medical treatment sometimes, I admit it.I’m tight.
However, I’m a 46 year old man with 66 year old knees that could not be neglected any longer.Today I bit the bullet and, with the help of a Doctor friend who gave me a ‘scrip, I went shopping for two MRI’s.I called 12 radiology clinics. The price for an MRI for a “regular” patient, that is, one with insurance, averages $1,183 per knee.The best price for a cash patient like me is $375.
That’s a savings of $808 or 68%.
Not all medical procedures are as competitive as MRI’s, but still… 68%?I’m more firmly convinced than ever that Medical Savings Accounts are the way to go.
If an Iraqi police captain by the name of Jamil Hussein exists, there is no convincing evidence of it - and that means the Associated Press has a journalistic scandal on its hands that will fester until the AP deals with it properly.
In statements, the AP insists Captain Hussein is real, insists he has been known to the AP and others for years, and insists the immolation episode occurred based on multiple eyewitnesses...
It is striking that no one has been able to find a family member, friend, or colleague of Captain Hussein. Nor has the AP told us who in the AP's ranks has actually spoken with Captain Hussein. Nor has the AP quoted Captain Hussein once since the story of the disputed episode...
To make matters worse, Captain Jamil Hussein was a key named source in more than 60 AP stories on at least 25 supposed violent incidents over eight months.
Paul refers to "the big lie"--the U.S. State Department's deliberate cover-up of the fact that Yaser Arafat personally ordered the murder of State's own overseas personnel, including an ambassador. This is indeed a very big lie....
Yet the State Department soldiers blindly on, committed to what must be the biggest lie in American foreign policy--the near-mystical belief that the Palestinian "peace process" holds the key to progress in the Middle East. So committed is State to this myth that it preferred to cover up the murder of its own personnel rather than confront the hollowness of its own policy.
It's tempting to play the "which is worse?" game. On the one hand, good Libertarians expect the government to be arrogant, screwed up, self serving, and incompetent. But an agency covering up the murder of its own ambassador to maintain its orthodoxy? Whoa! On the other hand, the old media has been lefty for, what, forty years now? And, sure, they've lost the bubble when it comes to Bush vs. Jihadis. But when did they become so cowardly that they fall for obvious terrorist stringer lies and refuse to come clean about it when confronted?
Really, these two institutions have committed and are committing the same sin: they will not betray their orthodoxy no matter what.
Life would be a lot better, and there would be a lot more people still alive today, if the AP and State could find it in their hearts to throw their shoulder to the damn wheel.
... then you've probably forgotten how ignorant Bright House Cable can be. Like, right now they're connecting an out building to the main house, but there's no connection from the main house to the pole, and no work order for such a connection.
But getting a straight answer out of DirecTV & Verizon is even harder.
Would it really be so bad to just go off the grid altogether?
Hummingbird Finally, my first hummingbirds. Saw them on a fire bush in Crystal Beach, FL. My rental's neighbor's yard is all xeriscaped, which is ugly to me but just fine with the little hummers. At first, I thought they were the biggest hornets I'd ever seen.
Flamingo! One of these dudes flew right over my house. I couldn't believe it. And please don't tell me it was a roseated spoonbill because it was a frickin' flamingo, dude! Huge and pink and right there above me. I was like so freaking out, you know?
Falcon! Don't see these guys too often. Wish we did. Bet the morning doves don't.
Black Skimmer These beauties are getting scarce, but one flew by yesterday at low tide on the hunt for minnows.
Dead sea turtle cool, but smelly
Reddish Egret These have been hanging out around the pool quite a bit lately. Must be a new group of adolesent birds -- the youngsters like to hunt where the water is clear, and it takes them a day to figure out there are not now and never will be fish in the swimming pool no matter how clear the water.
Brown Pelican I saw a flock of about 200 of these at Disappearing Island yesterday, just south of Anclote Island on the west coast of FL. Good to see such a large flock.
Wood Pecker They've developed a sudden interest in the orange tree, which just went into bloom.