The Antares Rocket Explodes

Setting aside the hysterical overreaction by the people in the background, this is the best video of the explosion of the Antares rocket I’ve seen tonight:

(Via.)

 

October 28, 2014 at 7:39 PM Leave a comment

The Oldest-Known Depiction of Space

So often lately I’ve been disgusted with human beings but in this case all I want to do is reach back in time and say yes!, we’re wondering what’s out there too, lo these thousands of years later.

2000–1600 B.C.

Excavated illegally in 1999 in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, the extraordinary Nebra Sky Disc is considered both the first known portable astronomical instrument and the oldest-known graphic depiction of celestial objects in human history.

Made of a blue-green copper inset with lustrous gold, the twelve-inch-wide disc contains an arrangement of seven stars probably representing the Pleiades. They’re in between a crescent moon on the right and either the full moon or sun in the center.

Oldest Map of Space via Discover magazine

(Image via DiscoverMagazine.com)

(Via.)

October 28, 2014 at 6:41 PM Leave a comment

Why Corporate Media is Dying

Stratosphere wikipedia

(The Space Shuttle in the Stratosphere via Wikipedia)

When the corporate media can’t break from its cycle of covering three “Breaking News” stories all day long (and week after week), one doesn’t hear about amazing stuff like this, which happened today:

A 57-Year-Old Computer Scientist Just Dove 135,000 Feet From The Stratosphere
Shattering Felix Baumgartner’s world record for freefall distance

When Feliz Baumgartner’s dove 24 miles from Earth’s upper atmosphere, he, along with his Red Bull sponsors, made sure millions of people would follow along. Today, Google vice president Alan Eustace dove from almost a mile higher—135,000+ feet above Roswell, New Mexico—with a fraction of the fanfare.

On his way up, Eustace dangled from a balloon that lifted him at about 1,000 feet per second minute, according to a release from the Paragon space exploration company. Unlike Baumgartner, who rode a pod to his jump site, Eustace was fixed directly to his balloon. He wore a space suit designed by Paragon to protect him from the inhospitable upper atmosphere.

After more than two hours of climbing, Eustace spent a half hour dangling and “experiencing” his astonishing altitude, according to Paragon. Once he dropped, early this morning, he breached the speed of sound in 90 seconds.

More…

Imagine doing that.

 

 

October 24, 2014 at 7:44 PM Leave a comment

Friday Puppy

Three weeks ago I threw my back out after moving boxes and boxes of apples at the food bank.  Everyone has apples! around here.  We’ve got apples out the wazoo probably because of last years flood; the ground was soaked and the trees were very happy (that, and we didn’t have a late frost to kill the buds this spring).

Anyway, after another day at the food bank I’m better but still taking aspirin when I can’t stand the gnawing pain anymore (I held out until 2:30 today — hooray).  I’m hoping to feel just a tad better every day (or two) as a sign that things are going the right way.

Not only that, it was 82º in the Denver area this afternoon, “about 1/100 year heat for date” according to Josh Larson, a Colorado weather guy I follow on Twitter so hey, you know, I should be outside.  I’m not outside because I’m staring at this photo. I can’t stop looking at it. SO CUTE!

Here’s a shout-out to all of you who live with chronic pain.  God.  It’s.  Exhausting.

Okay, enough of that.  Happy Friday. Happy fall.  Thanks to the universe for puppies!

Puppy 10-24-14 via Buzzfeed Animals

Image via BuzzfeedAnimals on Twitter)

(Via.)

 

 

October 24, 2014 at 6:54 PM Leave a comment

John McCain: A Tragic, Shakespearian Figure

John McCain via Wikipedia

(Image via Wikipedia)

OMG.  Come to terms with reality John.  You’re never going to be president.  Let.  It. Go.

McCain Sets Meeting to Discuss Re-Election

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has scheduled a breakfast meeting for Nov. 6 in Arizona where he will discuss with supporters his “thoughts” on seeking re-election in 2016, the Arizona Republic reports.
Earlier this month, McCain told reporters that the odds of him running again in 2016 “are pretty good.”

More…

Poor John.  At 78-years-old (he will be 80 in 2016), he’s still trying to impress, and be accepted by, his father and grandfather who were both four star admirals in the United States Navy.

October 21, 2014 at 7:10 PM 2 comments

Obama Caves, Appoints an “Ebola Czar,” and Hours Later…

Czar via Wikipedia

Remember when Republicans were screaming about all the “czars” President Obama appointed?  No?  Good.  That’s what they’re counting on (and don’t expect the “liberal media” to remind you of it).

Fast forward to the last few days during which Republicans have been beating the drum for Obama to do just that again…appoint another “czar:”

GOP senators who opposed Obama ‘czars’ now want one for Ebola

Obama caved today — still hoping for bipartisan reconciliation or what; I don’t know — and he appointed an Ebola “czar.”

Three hours later, this is where we are:

Obama appoints Ebola czar… and we are so screwed

Obama Bows to Pressure, Appoints Ebola Czar

GOP blasts Ebola czar pick

Google “Obama appoints Ebola czar” and you’ll see links to hundreds of critical articles.

Nothing like Mr.-Cave-to-Republicans-Since-Day-One to go into the November election caving again.  Way to rally the base, huh?

As Jeff Sacks wrote today:

There is no case for an American Ebola czar, least of all another political “fixer” who has no expertise in public health. This is just another case of the Obama administration putting politics before substance, and cowering at the idiocy and vileness of the Republicans in Congress.

[...]

The CDC is the world’s pre-eminent public health institution, and Tom Frieden is a consummate professional. And yes, the CDC is overstretched in this epidemic and under-funded, given the relentless attacks on “government” by the Republicans in Congress. And yes, a hospital in Texas performed poorly. These are not signs of disaster; they are signs of the suddenness and unusual circumstances of the Ebola epidemic.

[...]

The sad reality, however, is that during his administration, Obama has been so insecure, so incapable of bold leadership, that he has, in the end, sided with the Republicans on the budget cuts that have put the CDC, USAID, and even the World Health Organization (WHO) in danger —the latter because of the U.S. unwillingness to fund the UN properly. Therefore, when the crisis hit, the U.S. and the world were not ready for it.

More…

This is just downright painful to watch.

Oh, and P.S.  – I heard on CNN about an hour ago that banning flights is now “on the table” in the White House, something Obama was adamantly against:  Ebola: Obama will increase airport screenings, won’t ban West Africa flights.

Expect another cave even though no public health expert says a flight ban would be a good idea.  Why? Because Obama = ring in nose led by Republicans.

 

 

October 17, 2014 at 6:46 PM Leave a comment

For-Profit Hospitals Don’t Want to Spend the Money Preparing for Ebola

Betsy McCaughey via Wikipedia

(Betsy McCaughey via Wikipedia)

The Ebola scare is exposing the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into here in the U.S. with the privatization of our hospital system:

Dr. Betsy McCaughey, the CEO of Defend Your Healthcare and former Lt. Governor of New York, appeared on Fox just after she had attend a CDC conference call with hospitals this afternoon.

Host Stuart Varney asked her what it would take to set up 50 hospitals to be ready for Ebola.

McCaughey’s answer is stunning.

According to her, after the CDC outlined its preparation strategy, one hospital administrator responded, “What you’re telling us would bankrupt my hospital!” She said that that administrator represents a Southern California hospital.

McCaughey noted that there was no word on the call of who would pay for hospitals to get themselves ready for Ebola patients.

And then she added: “Treating one Ebola patient requires, full time, 20 medical staff. Mostly ICU (intensive care unit) people. So that would wipe out an ICU in an average-sized hospital.”

In the case of Texas Presbyterian, McCaughey says that the hospital cordoned off its ICU to care for Thomas Eric Duncan and sent the rest of its ICU patients to other area hospitals. She added that many communities will not have multiple hospitals to choose from, so one Ebola case could cripple ICUs in small towns.

“But the most important thing,” McCaughey said, “is that doctors and nurses are not ready for the challenge of using this personal protective equipment even if you see them with the helmet, the respirator, the full suits, as the CDC said on the call today, even all that equipment is not enough to guarantee the safety of health care workers because it is so perilous to put it on and particularly to remove it once it’s become contaminated.”

McCaughey said many of those on the call were “daunted by the expectations, the separate laboratory next to the isolated patients, all kinds of — all kinds of adjustments, where to put the waste. Many states won’t even let you dispose of this waste from such a toxic disease.”

More…

So, the next time some guy from the CDC hems and haws about why mandatory procedures aren’t being implemented across the country, let’s remember that behind that hemming and hawing is his inability to say outright that the hospital system is privatized and the CDC has no authority to force them to do anything.

Geezus.

Ah yes, the “best health care system in the world.”

 

October 15, 2014 at 1:33 PM Leave a comment

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