Monthly Archives: September 2012

The rollout to the launchpad of the first stage of Orbital Sciences’ Antares rocket has been delayed until Saturday.

The competition heats up: The rollout to the launchpad of the first stage of Orbital Sciences’ Antares rocket has been delayed until Saturday.

The rollout had been scheduled for today, but had to be scrubbed due to a battery problem in the transporter for moving the rocket. Once on the pad, they will then spend the next 4 to 6 weeks preparing for a hold down firing test. And if that test goes well, they will follow it up with the first launch of Antares before the end of the year.

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The head of Russia’s space agency said today that they need to reorganize their industry in order to compete.

Isn’t competition wonderful? The head of Russia’s space agency said today that they need to reorganize their industry in order to compete.

Key quote: “Unless we act now – we will cease to be competitive,” he warned.

I wonder why? Could it be there is a company out there selling launch capability at half the cost?

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Why I spent $50 at a political fundraiser today

Jonathan Paton

Two days ago Ralph Kayser, head of the Tucson Tea Party, sent out an email announcing that the Republican Congressional candidate for my district, Jonathan Paton (pictured on the right), was going to hold a luncheon fundraiser today. Ralph wanted to know if anyone was interested in attending.

Normally, I detest giving money to politicians, from either party. I consider them to be the worst form of bloodsuckers. They don’t produce any wealth, cannot create jobs no matter how hard they try, add restrictions to our lives that squelch freedom, and generally only serve to squeeze tax dollars from us all for wasteful government projects, money that we would better left in our own hands to use as we each saw fit. And then they go on the campaign trail, begging for more money so that they can beat the other guy.

Like I say, bloodsuckers.

Nonetheless, to me this election is different, in the same way the 2010 election was different.
» Read more

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James Hansen’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies has once again been caught changing its past climate temperature data without explanation.

James Hansen’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies has once again been caught changing its past climate temperature data without explanation.

Surprise of surprise, the change had the effect of making the long-term temperature record support conclusions of faster warming. The biggest changes were mostly pre-1963 temperatures; they were generally adjusted down. That would make the warming trend steeper, since post-1963 temperatures were adjusted slightly upward, on average. Generally, the older the data, the more adjustment.

Hat tip to reader jwing who alerted me to this story. As I commented to him, this “also is old news, to my mind, even though this is a new discovery of corruption. This kind of fraud has now been on-going for the past decade, with no signs of any effort to fix it. Worse, the climate science field even denies that it has a problem. Thus, I don’t trust anything they tell me. I check everything twice, and then have doubts besides. Which is why I remain entirely skeptical of any claims these climate scientists make.”

And in this case, the climate scientist in question is James Hansen.

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It appears that Curiosity is traveling across an ancient streambed on Mars.

It appears that Curiosity is traveling across an ancient streambed on Mars.

“From the size of gravels it carried, we can interpret the water was moving about 3 feet per second, with a depth somewhere between ankle and hip deep,” said Curiosity science co-investigator William Dietrich of the University of California, Berkeley. “Plenty of papers have been written about channels on Mars with many different hypotheses about the flows in them. This is the first time we’re actually seeing water-transported gravel on Mars. This is a transition from speculation about the size of streambed material to direct observation of it.”

This discovery also confirms the wisdom of Gale Crater as a target. Satellite data and images had suggested the crater had once been water filled. Now this suggestion appears confirmed.

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Scientists are proposing that Europe send a probe to Titan and sail it on that planet’s methane lakes.

Scientists are proposing that Europe send a probe to Titan and sail it on that planet’s methane lakes.

This concept had been proposed to NASA last year but it was rejected when the Obama administration shut down the planetary program.

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It now appears that Democratic Senator candidate Elizabeth Warren practiced law in Massachusetts without a Massachusetts license.

The law is such an inconvenient thing: It now appears that Democratic Senator candidate Elizabeth Warren illegally practiced law in Massachusetts without a Massachusetts’ license.

I reserved reporting this at first because, though she never had a Massachusetts’ license, she did have one from New Jersey. Since all her legal work appeared to be federal in natural, she had broken no laws. Now it appears otherwise.

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A new federal law has now confirmed the ownership by astronauts of their souvenirs.

A new federal law has now confirmed the ownership by 1960s astronauts of the equipment they saved as souvenirs from their missions.

Sadly, the law excludes moon rocks given as gifts by NASA to astronauts and NASA employees, as well as any material given to astronauts in the post Apollo era, which means we should continue to see midnight raids by NASA bureaucrats of the homes of retired NASA employees to confiscate objects they thought they owned.

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The solar maximum has already occurred in the Sun’s northern hemisphere, according to new observations.

The solar maximum has already occurred in the Sun’s northern hemisphere, according to one scientist’s research.

Moreover, the data also suggests that the maximum in the Sun’s southern hemisphere will not occur until early in 2014. This asymmetry between the hemispheres also suggests the strong possibility of a Grand Minimum to follow.

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The federal government spent $1.4 billion on the Obama family last year.

It’s good work if you can get it: The federal government spent $1.4 billion on the Obama family last year.

This included entertainment, housing, travel, and staff. It was also more than 24 times what the British spend on their royal family.

In related news, Agriculture Department employees spent more time visiting foreign countries then they did the farmlands of the U.S.

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More films about Mohammad in the works.

Good for them: More films about Mohammad in the works.

Not surprisingly, both filmmakers fear violence from the religion of peace.

Both filmmakers are closely guarding details of their productions due to security concerns. They decry “Innocence of Muslims” as historically inaccurate, offensive and of poor quality. In the wake of its release, Yousef has been scrambling to meet with his investors — whom he describes as a mix of Egyptians and Americans — and ensure that they’re still on board.

Sina, for his part, said he had been exploring ways to hide the identities of the producers and actors in his movie and said he would not reveal the planned location for the movie shoot. He described his investors as a handful of Persian atheists who live in Los Angeles. “I’ve become more secretive,” said Sina, who insists that his goal is not to incite Muslims but to persuade them.

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A Texas court has ruled that the owners of a wrongfully killed pet can recover “sentimental” or “intrinsic” damages.

A Texas court has ruled that the owners of a wrongfully killed pet can recover “sentimental” or “intrinsic” damages.

The case stems from a lawsuit brought by Kathryn and Jeremy Medlen against Carla Strickland. Around June 2, 2009, the Medlen’s dog Avery escaped from their backyard and was picked up by animal control. Jeremy went to the animal shelter to retrieve Avery but didn’t have enough money with him to pay the fees. He was told he could return for the dog June 10, and a “hold for owner” tag was placed on Avery’s cage.

On June 6, Strickland, a shelter employee, made a list of animals that would be euthanized the following day. She put Avery on the list, despite the “hold for owner” tag, and the dog was euthanized the next day. When the Medlens returned to claim Avery, they learned what had happened.

I have no sympathy for the veterinary organizations that are opposing this ruling, claiming it will raise costs. From what I can gather, they face no risk if they simply do their job properly. In the case above, the dog was wrongfully killed, and thus the shelter should pay for that error.

A side note: If this precedent gets accepted, it will act as a deterrent to police departments who presently think the only way to handle a homeowner’s dog is to shoot it on sight. If you are a cop and you wrongfully kill a dog, this ruling will make you liable for a lot more than the dog’s mere market worth.

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A computer glitch prevented the undocking of the European ATV-3 cargo vehicle from ISS today.

A computer glitch prevented the undocking of the European ATV-3 cargo vehicle from ISS today.

Undocking of the European Space Agency’s third Automated Transfer Vehicle, or ATV, from the aft port of the Zvezda module had been scheduled for 6:35 p.m. EDT (GMT-4). Cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko attempted to send a command to begin the undocking sequence on time, but the command apparently never reached the docking mechanism.

I am not sure what will happen if they cannot pin down the problem. For example, it is unclear whether the cargo vehicle can be reprogrammed to be manually controlled. Also, it presently blocks a docking port. Is that port needed for the next ATV freighter as well as for other craft, such as Progress freighters? If so, this could become a serious problem.

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A voter watchdog group has uncovered voter fraud in New York and Florida.

Surprise surprise! A voter watchdog group has uncovered voter fraud in New York and Florida.

True the Vote, a group that focuses on voter fraud, said it turned over 31 cases to state and federal election authorities in which individuals cast their votes in two states in the same federal election — which is a felony. Logan Churchwell, a spokesman for the group, told FoxNews.com that the organization accessed Florida’s complete voter registration roll and cross-referenced it against 10 percent of New York’s list. It identified more than 1,700 people with voter registrations in both states. Of that number, 31 people allegedly voted in both states during the same federal election cycle.

Of the 1,700 people who were registered to vote in both states, a large number were probably individuals that had moved from one state to the other, their registration in their previous state not yet getting purged from the rolls. This is still a frightening statistic, however, as these individuals have created a situation where their registration could be misused.

For example, if you wanted to tilt the scale in favor of your candidate, it wouldn’t be hard to get the voter rolls from both states, as True the Vote did, compare names, figure out where the duplicate individuals now live, and then send someone to vote in their name in the other state. As Project Veritas proved again and again and again, without voter ID it is very easy to vote using someone else’s name.

One more note: If you are a Republican in Chicago, you have a chance to help prevent voter fraud. Volunteer to be an election judge!

It’s down to the wire and Sharon still needs 500 Republican election judges in Cook County…and she needs them by this coming Thursday. If she doesn’t find 500 more judges, then Democrats will get to fill those positions…just like they have in previous elections. Democrats use those slots as patronage pay-offs and also enjoy having complete control of polling places…which is how the dead are allowed to vote in many cases or how, mysteriously, people who didn’t actually show up to vote end up voting anyway if Democrats need them to in tight elections. Without a Republican judge in a polling place to prevent this from happening, fraud is institutionalized in Cook County elections.

I’ve done it, it’s not hard, and it helps to guarantee a fair election.

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