Monthly Archives: September 2011

Senate rejects House funding bill; shutdown looms

Senate rejects House funding bill; shutdown looms.

While we chatter about superficial election debates and a falling satellite, the federal budget continues to crash and burn. What I find disturbing about the events in the Senate is this quote:

Democrats in the Senate, who are in the majority, oppose Republican efforts to roll back “green” energy programs to pay for aid for victims of Hurricane Irene and other disasters. They say disaster aid, usually a bipartisan issue, should not require cuts elsewhere — especially to programs creating green jobs — as the GOP majority in the House now demands. [emphasis mine]

So how do the Democrats expect to pay for this disaster aid? Will the money grow on trees?

Share

A second large satellite will rain debris down in October

Even if UARS misses you today, don’t relax! A second large satellite, the 2.4 ton ROSAT X-Ray space telescope, is going to rain debris down late in October or early November.

On its ROSAT website, DLR estimates that “up to 30 individual debris items with a total mass of up to 1.6 tonnes might reach the surface of the Earth. The X-ray optical system, with its mirrors and a mechanical support structure made of carbon-fibre reinforced composite – or at least a part of it – could be the heaviest single component to reach the ground.”

Share

An international team of scientists said on Thursday they had recorded sub-atomic particles traveling faster than light

An international team of scientists said on Thursday they had recorded sub-atomic particles that travel faster than light.

A total of 15,000 beams of neutrinos — tiny particles that pervade the cosmos — were fired over a period of 3 years from CERN toward Gran Sasso 730 (500 miles) km away, where they were picked up by giant detectors. Light would have covered the distance in around 2.4 thousandths of a second, but the neutrinos took 60 nanoseconds — or 60 billionths of a second — less than light beams would have taken. “It is a tiny difference,” said Ereditato, who also works at Berne University in Switzerland, “but conceptually it is incredibly important. The finding is so startling that, for the moment, everybody should be very prudent.”

Share

The rover Opportunity as seen from Mars orbit

Opportunity on Endeavour Crater rim

The image to the right was taken by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, with the white arrow showing the Mars rover Opportunity perched on the rim of Endeavour Crater.

The rover’s scientists hope that the rocks found on the crater rim, dredged up from deep below when the crater impact occurred, will be the oldest rocks so far touched on the Martian surface, and thus give them a peek at ancient Martian geology.

Share

Philadelphia City Council looks to regulate satellite dish placement

We’re here to help you! The Philadelphia City Council wants to regulate the placement and color of residential satellite dishes.

On Thursday, Clarke is expected to offer final amendments to a bill requiring satellite companies to try to install dishes somewhere other than the front of a building. Roofs, rear or side yards, and backs of buildings all are acceptable, the bill says. The measure would also require some customers to paint their dishes to match the front of their buildings.

Share

House unexpectedly defeats spending bill

The House unexpectedly defeated a spending bill today.

The bill would have funded the government at an annual rate of $1.043 trillion, in line with a bipartisan agreement reached in August. Many conservatives want to stick with the lower figure of $1.019 trillion that the House approved in April. The measure failed by a vote of 195 to 230, with 48 of the chamber’s most conservative Republicans joining Democrats in opposition. The vote demonstrated the continued reluctance of Tea Party conservatives to compromise on spending issues, even as the public grows weary of repeated confrontation on Capitol Hill. [emphasis mine]

I have highlighted the last line of the quote above to illustrate an example of Reuters inserting its own political agenda into a story, based not on facts but on fantasy and leftwing wishful thinking. Not only is there no indication that the public is “weary of repeated confrontation,” polls and recent special elections suggest that the public is instead quite weary of politicians unwilling to cut the federal budget. It is for this reason these conservative Republicans feel so emboldened. They know the political winds are at their backs.

Share

With the Kyoto treaty expiring in 2012, Australia and Norway propose extending it until 2015

With the Kyoto climate treaty expiring in 2012 and with almost no chance of a new treaty being agreed to this December at the next climate meeting in Durban, South Africa, Australia and Norway have proposed extending Kyoto until 2015.

The Australia-Norway submission calls for a new timetable to finalize an international treaty that would extend the Kyoto Protocol until 2015. Kyoto, which requires nearly 40 developed nations to cut greenhouse emissions by at least 5.2 percent less than 1990 levels by 2020 during the years 2008-12, is scheduled to expire in 2012. . . . The 2015 timetable is intended to “scale-up” international efforts on climate change to attain a global goal of limiting temperature rises below 2 degrees Celsius, the Australia-Norway proposal said.

What this tells me is that the chances of a new treaty are getting slimmer and slimmer. And I think that is good news, as we really have no idea what the climate is really doing, therefore making it very premature to write any treaty that limits human freedom. For all we know, the sun might be going quiet, which in turn could lead to global cooling.

But then, we don’t really know yet, do we? And without knowing a new climate treaty might do more harm than good.

Share

Proposed changes in hardware specifications may make it impossible to run free operating systems such as Linux on computers.

Proposed changes in computer hardware specifications may make it impossible to run free operating systems such as Linux.

The extension of Microsoft’s OS monopoly to hardware would be a disaster, with increased lock-in, decreased consumer choice and lack of space to innovate.

The article also notes how these restrictions might violate European Union competition law.

Share

New survey shows employers will drop coverage under Obamacare

Repeal this turkey! A new survey now shows that thirty percent of employers will drop their health coverage under Obamacare.

Have doubts about the survey? Note that Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean is quoted in the above article as finding it creditable.

Share

Police give ticket to citizen for directing traffic

Police ticket citizen for directing traffic at intersection where traffic light failed.

Gerrish said Ehrlich cleared up the mess in 10 minutes. After 15 minutes, South Pasadena police say they finally received a call about their newest traffic officer, KCBS reported. Police responded to the scene and told Ehrlich to stop and issued him a ticket, but never stepped in to direct traffic themselves.

If this doesn’t illustrate the present madness of modern government, I don’t know what does. The proper answer by the police when they arrived should have been “Thank you, sir. We will take over now.” Instead, they do the exact opposite, punishing him while refusing to solve the problem.

Share
1 2 3 4 5 8