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Science, Astronomy, & Physics / Jan. 2018 meteors
« on: January 05, 2018, 12:47:58 pm »
Since the new year until last night, there's been a lot of bright meteor sightings. They are probably associated with the Quadrantid meteor shower, which peaked January 3. The Quadrantid shower though, is not particularly known for a lot on meteors, or very bright ones, but has been known to produce just a few large bright meteors occasionally before.

Usually meteor showers produce very faint "falling stars", most of which can only be seen in dark rural & country skies.  The meteors are usually about the size of a grain of sand to a small pebble. These bright sightings were probably meteors 6-10 inches in diameter.

Since the New Year, we've had frequent bright sightings from Virginia to Quebec, as far west as the northern mid-west USA, & as far east at the UK & Finland.

These are those that were caught on video.

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CDC gets list of forbidden words: Fetus, transgender, diversity

Trump is prohibiting officials at USA's top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases — including “fetus” and “transgender”

The forbidden terms are “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”

It’s likely that other parts of HHS are operating under the same guidelines regarding the use of these words, the analyst said.

At the CDC, several offices have responsibility for work that uses some of these terms. The National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention is working on ways to prevent HIV among transgender people and reduce health disparities. The CDC’s work on birth defects caused by the Zika virus includes research on the developing fetus.

A longtime CDC analyst, whose job includes writing descriptions of the CDC’s work for the administration’s annual spending blueprint, could not recall a previous time when words were banned because they were considered controversial.

The reaction of people in the meeting was “incredulous,” the analyst said. “It was very much, ‘Are you serious? Are you kidding?’ ”

“In my experience, we’ve never had any pushback from an ideological standpoint,” the analyst said.

General Discussions / Presidential Insanity
« on: November 20, 2017, 06:08:34 pm »
I don't think most people realize how mentally unstable & dangerous Trump is to the USA & the world.

There's a petition signed by 65,000 mental health care workers going around that declares Trump totally nuts & not fit for the office... and not just a little bit crazy, but dangerously crazy!

Be very afraid!

I don't care what you're ideology or opinions are, or how "conservative" you think you are. You DON'T put an out of control, chronic liar, screwball loose canon, nut case, who's out of touch with reality, in control of the highest office in America!

We had so many wonderful good republicans to choose from. Why did they choose to craziest one out of the bunch? Did they think he would be another corporate & party puppet like Bush?

Did you stupid people think you'd teach us "libtards" a lesson by taking away health care from YOUR granparents, & blowing up YOUR world, or sending YOU, me, & YOUR descendants back to the dark ages?

God Save Us !!! Not from Trump, but from all you people who think his crazy butt is cool & right !!! Are you as nuts as he is? How can you possibly believe every news source on the planet is wrong except for FOX, or rabble rowsers as bad as fake preachers?

I actually know some pretty cool crazy people. I can even agree with some stuff they say. But I'm not going to give those crazy people keys to my car, let them in my house unsupervised, & definitely not put them in charge of my life or country.

Why? Because even though I may agree with some stuff they say, I am not going to put a chronic liar, or screwball in control of anything!

Media, Music, TV, & Movies / R.I.P. Tom Petty
« on: October 04, 2017, 10:35:48 am »
Tom Petty passed away last night of a heart attack at the age of only 66.

Here's a mix of some of his popular stuff:
(13.9mb, 39.5 minutes mp3 V3)

Science, Astronomy, & Physics / Manned mission to Mars in 10 years?
« on: September 29, 2017, 04:01:35 am »
Lockheed Martin unveiled it's spaceship design to get people to Mars in 10 years. Looks like it's gonna cost at least a trillion dollars.

Cool video:
(3.9mb, 3 minutes)

Science, Astronomy, & Physics / Latest Jupiter Images
« on: June 29, 2017, 07:21:27 am »
I found the latest images of Jupiter. You can see bigger images at the NASA site, but you won't find sharper clearer ones than these that I enhanced myself. Because they are sharper, they're also zoom-able without losing too much sharpness. Just zoom the image or our whole page to make it a little bigger.

A Sweet Chestnut tree in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, is 300 years old.

A well-known way of measuring the age of a tree is by counting the rings in its trunk: one ring per year of growth. The problem with that is, counting rings normally involves cutting down the tree.

Arboriculturalists get around this by using an increment borer, a drill that allows them to take out a core, and count the rings without fatally damaging the tree. But in the 1960s, one scientist's drill broke off inside the bristlecone pine tree he was sampling. The kit is expensive, so to recover his lost tool, a they cut cut down the tree. Once felled, the tree could be easily aged, and was found to be 5000 years old.

They've found a sacred fig tree in Sri Lanka that is at least 2,222 years old.

There's a Patagonian cypress tree in Chile which, at 3,627 years old, is as old as Stonehenge.

A Great Basin bristlecone pine in California's White Mountains is 4,850 years old. But the oldest tree is an unnamed bristlecone pine from the same location, has a core suggesting it is 5,067 years old. That has lived through the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. It was already growing when the Ancient Egyptians started building pyramids.

In Fishlake National Park in Utah in the US lives a Quaking Aspen tree that most people would struggle to see as "a tree".

It's a clonal tree called "Pando", from the Latin meaning "I spread", and for good reason.

It is so large that it is easy to mistake for a forest. However, Pando, despite being the size of Vatican City, has all sprung from one seed, and, over the years, has grown a single vast rootstock supporting an estimated 50,000 tree trunks. It's more like a giant bush than a tree. Estimating how old it is, is problematic, says geneticist Prof Karen Mock from Utah State University, who works on the aspen.

"There have been all kinds of different estimates but the original tree is almost certainly not there,"

Clonal trees grow in all directions and regenerate themselves as they go. This means taking a core from a trunk will not give you the age of the whole tree.

Scientists try to get around this problem by equating size to age. It's an inaccurate process and Pando's estimated age ranges from a few thousand to 80,000 years old.

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