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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 34,978

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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Telescopes hint at neutrino beacon at the heart of the Milky Way

(Phys.org) —Identifying the sources of high-energy neutrinos—ghostly but potentially information-rich particles believed to be generated by some of the most violent objects in the sky—is near the top of many an astrophysicist's bucket list.

By their nature, high-energy neutrinos are very difficult to detect and follow back to their points of origin. Things like gamma ray bursts, colliding galaxies, black holes, newly forming stars and other dynamic celestial phenomena, scientists believe, are what kick-start high-energy neutrinos and send them on their course through the cosmos. The subatomic particles have no charge, almost no mass, and can zip through planets, stars and entire galaxies without skipping a beat.

But thanks to a confluence of data from a suite of vastly different telescopes, including three orbiting X-ray telescopes and the IceCube Neutrino Observatory sunk deep into the ice beneath the South Pole, there are tantalizing clues that the massive black hole at the core of the Milky Way may be one such cosmic accelerator.

Should scientists confirm the observations, it would be the first time neutrinos have been detected emanating from a black hole.


Federal investigators suppressed safety concerns with BP Atlantis oil platform

A Democratic lawmaker this month accused federal investigators of suppressing concerns about the structural safety of BP’s Atlantis offshore oil platform, a facility similar to the Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded four years ago.

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.) said in a Nov. 6 letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell that the Bureau of Ocean Energy and Management, Regulation and Enforcement failed to disclose key details about its investigation of the Atlantis, which is located about 150 miles south of New Orleans in the Gulf of Mexico.

All three structural engineers who took part in the investigation thought the final report should mention signs of trouble with some of the rig’s underwater parts, as well as disagreement over whether BP had all of its final designs in place.

None of those concerns made it into the final analysis. A December 2013 inspector general’s report revealed that the bureau, which falls under the Department of the Interior, narrowed its review in a way that excluded them.


10 National Geographic Photographers Give Thanks for the Photos That Changed Them

As a new photo editor at National Geographic, I was eager to learn more about the photographers we work with, many of whom I haven’t met in person. In honor of Thanksgiving, I asked ten of them to share an image that they were especially thankful for having taken – one that had perhaps changed the way they thought about something, or had a large impact on the trajectory of their career. Below are the stories and images they shared.—Jessie Wender

John Stanmeyer, Vignettes from the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, Aceh, Indonesia

A wall of water 100 feet tall inundated the village of Lampuuk in northern Sumatra on December 26, 2004. When the ocean receded, the only structure remaining was this mosque. Some called it mystical, others fate. 7,000 residents once called Lampuuk home. In this photograph are the thankful few who survived, saying evening prayers while fires still smoldered in the devastated landscape through the shattered walls of this holy place. I learned a great deal during many months covering this tragedy, a disaster where there was no one to blame. Such events solidifying how precious our time is, reminding us how astonishingly alive is our earth, how nature gives but also takes, and how important it is for all of us to to hold sacred this gifted period we have to do something, no matter how grand or small. Each day I’m thankful for the simple act of waking up and putting my feet on the ground. One day I won’t. Accepting and thankful for whatever time I’ll be given, hoping I am humble enough, thankful as surely these women and men who went on to dream and live another day.—John Stanmeyer

A single conversation ten years ago changed the course of my life. Mejgon’s story wasn’t a happy one; she was married off at 11, and at 15 years old she was living in a shelter, home to several Afghan girls who’d escaped their marriages. When we met she said, “In my whole life I have never felt love.” In the years that followed, I carried her devastating words in my heart and saw them echoed in the faces of child brides around the world as my personal photography project slowly turned into something much bigger—moving from a story in National Geographic to an international advocacy campaign and nonprofit called “Too Young to Wed.” Last week, the United Nations general assembly adopted a historic resolution to end child, early, and forced marriage. I am grateful for Mejgon’s friendship that day and the impact she has had on my life and my work. Her inspiration continues to help women and girls around the world.—Stephanie Sinclair



Incredibly rare white tiger born in Omaha Zoo

An extremely rare white lion cub has been born in a zoo in central USA.

The cub, which has not yet been given a name, was born in Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on as part of a litter of three, born on the 21 November.

The mother Ahadi, who is six years old, gave birth for the first time to two males and one female last week.

The cub’s father Mr Big is currently being kept away from the rest of the group, as those at the zoo believe it is unlikely that the cub’s mother would allow him to be near the newborns.


Thank you Rep. Grayson:Thanksgiving Shouldn’t Be About Wal-Mart, Says Florida Congressman

By David Eldridge

Ah, Thanksgiving: football, parades, turkey and stuffing, Rep. Alan Grayson going after Wal-Mart.

The Florida Democrat, who is one of the retail giant’s biggest critics on Capitol Hill, renewed what has become his annual Thanksgiving tradition Wednesday, taking on Wal-Mart for its treatment of workers.

“Thanksgiving was once a holiday reserved for spending time with our loved ones — families across America gathered around the table to enjoy a meal … and give thanks,” Grayson said in a statement.

“But Thanksgiving’s importance has faded in recent years. The holiday is now merely a precursor to Black Friday — the day in which stores like Walmart slash prices to attempt to generate larger profits for themselves, at the expense of their employees. For Walmart’s corporate owners, Thanksgiving has become ‘Black Friday Eve’ — a day to pry families apart and work employees to the bone for next to nothing in wages.”


T-day Toons

Injustice toons

Toon: The American Justice System

Toon: Why Don't I feel Worse?


Richard Scarry's Busy Town in the 21st Century

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