Heads-up folks the Leonid’s are here, don’t know where to look? View sky-map here
Video below has some historical background on the Leonids:
Even more here and Happy watching!
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Billions have been spent allowing corporations to profit from public water sources even though water privatization has been an epic failure in Latin America, Southeast Asia, North America, Africa and everywhere else it’s been tried. But don’t tell that to controversial loan-sharks at the World Bank. Last month, its private-sector funding arm International Finance Corporation (IFC) quietly dropped a cool 100 million euros ($139 million US) on Veolia Voda, the Eastern European subsidiary of Veolia, the world’s largest private water corporation. Its latest target? Privatization of Eastern Europe’s water resources.
“Veolia has made it clear that their business model is based on maximizing profits, not long-term investment,” Joby Gelbspan, senior program coordinator for private-sector watchdog Corporate Accountability International, told AlterNet. “Both the World Bank and the transnational water companies like Veolia have clearly acknowledged they don’t want to invest in the infrastructure necessary to improve water access in Eastern Europe. That’s why this 100 million euro investment in Veolia Voda by the World Bank’s private investment arm over the summer is so alarming. It’s further evidence that the World Bank remains committed to water privatization, despite all evidence that this approach will not solve the world’s water crisis.”
All the evidence Veolia needs that water grabs are doomed exercises can be found in its birthplace of France, more popularly known as the heartland of water privatization. In June, the municipal administration of Paris reclaimed the City of Light’s water services from both of its homegrown multinationals Veolia and Suez, after a torrent of controversy. That’s just one of 40 re-municipilazations in France alone, which can be added to those in Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America and more in hopes of painting a not-so-pretty picture: Water privatization is ultimately both a horrific concept and a failed project.
Every three years, the same phase of the moon happens on about the same date of each month. The annual Perseid meteor shower of August last happened in a moonless sky in 2007, so this year if the sky is clear when the Perseids peak before dawn on Aug. 12 and 13, there will be an unhindered display of silent fireworks.
This shower is one of the most popular every year because it happens on warm summer nights, when gazing at the starry sky is always enjoyable. There may be as many as 100 bright meteors per hour, some with smoke trails that last several seconds after the meteor has vanished.
The Perseids will be visible for most of August, though there will be fewer meteors to see the farther from the peak date you watch. If the peak on Aug. 12-13 is hidden by clouds, try looking for meteors again as soon as the night sky is clear.
To minimize the effect of local light pollution, which can obscure as many as half of the meteors, try to avoid artificial lights. Face east if you have a clear view in that direction, and look about half-way up the sky from the horizon. You won’t need binoculars or a telescope — the meteors move much too fast for that. The chances of seeing a fireball will be greatest near dawn, when Earth will be moving head-on into the meteor stream.
Okay, so you would have had to read Stephen’s King’s novel “the Stand” to get the title I chose for this posting but the science fiction part rings true enough this time. Believe it or not after all these years, NASA says they have found water on the Moon or at least traces of it.
The moon isn’t the dry dull place it seems. Traces of water lurk in the dirt unseen.
Three different space probes found the chemical signature of water all over the moon’s surface, surprising the scientists who at first doubted the unexpected measurement until it was confirmed independently and repeatedly.
It’s not enough moisture to foster homegrown life on the moon. But if processed in mass quantities, it might provide resources – drinking water and rocket fuel – for future moon-dwellers, scientists say. The water comes and goes during the lunar day.
The discovery, with three studies bring published in the journal Science on Thursday and a NASA briefing, could refocus interest in the moon. The appeal of the moon waned after astronauts visited 40 years ago and called it “magnificent desolation.”
The announcement comes two weeks before a NASA probe purposely smashes near the moon’s south pole to see if it can kick up buried ice. Over the last decade, astronomers have found some signs of underground ice on the moon’s poles. But this latest discovery is quite different. It finds unexpected and pervasive water clinging to the surface of soil, not absorbed into it.
“It’s sort of just sticking on the surface,” Sunshine said. “We always think of the moon as dead and this is sort of a dynamic process that’s going on.”
It’s not a lot of water. If you took a two-liter soda bottle of lunar dirt, there would probably be a medicine dropperful of water in it, said University of Maryland astronomer Jessica Sunshine, one of the scientists who discovered the water. Another way to think of it is if you want a drink of water, it would take a baseball diamond’s worth of dirt, said team leader Carle Pieters of Brown University.
NASA will hold a media briefing today (9/22) to disclose their findings and discuss the new data.
NASA will hold a media briefing at 2 p.m. EDT on Thursday, Sept. 24, to discuss new science data from the moon collected during national and international space missions. NASA Television and the agency’s Web site will provide live coverage of the briefing from the James E. Webb Memorial Auditorium at NASA Headquarters, 300 E St. SW, in Washington.
The briefing participants are:
- Jim Green, director, Planetary Science Division, Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington
- Carle Pieters, principal investigator, Moon Mineralogy Mapper, Brown University
- Rob Green, project instrument scientist, Moon Mineralogy Mapper, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.
- Roger Clark, team member, Cassini spacecraft Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer and co-investigator, Moon Mineralogy Mapper, U.S. Geological Survey in Denver
- Jessica Sunshine, deputy principal investigator for NASA’s Deep Impact extended mission and co-investigator for Moon Mineralogy Mapper, Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland
For more information about NASA TV downlinks and streaming video, visit their website.
LA’s under the Gun, Blaze Doubles
A massive fire in the Angeles National Forest nearly doubled in size overnight, threatening 12,000 homes Monday in a 20-mile-long swath of flame and smoke and surging toward a mountaintop broadcasting complex and historic observatory.
The fire was the largest of at least eight burning up and down California after days of triple-digit temperatures and low humidity. The Los Angeles-area blaze had burned at least 21 homes and was moving north, south and east through the rugged foothills northeast of the city.
Despite a lack of wind, the fire surged without letup by running through steep granite canyons and feeding on brush that had not burned for 40 years, fire officials said.
“It’s burning everywhere,” U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Dianne Cahir said. “When it gets into canyons that haven’t burned in numerous years, it takes off. If you have any insight into the good Lord upstairs, put in a request.”
The fire had burned 134 square miles of brush and trees by early Monday and was just 5 percent contained.
About 12,000 homes, as well as communications and astronomy centers atop Mount Wilson, were threatened by fire. At least 6,600 homes were under mandatory evacuation orders and more than 2,500 firefighters were battling the flames.
But the lack of wind kept the fires burning mainly in canyonlands rather than racing downhill and roaring explosively through the dense suburbs that cluster at the base of the foothills.
On the blaze’s northwestern front, two firefighters were killed Sunday when their truck drove off the side of a road on Mount Gleason near the city of Acton.
Read the entire article at Huffington Post.
Watch video from the ground, incredible !
[About the Video: A massive Los Angeles-area fire nearly doubled in size overnight, threatening 12,000 homes Monday in a 20-mile long swath of flame and smoke and surging toward a mountaintop broadcasting complex | AP]
Mt. Redoubt’s continued eruptions have many in the region on alert. Ash from the volcano has dusted communities surrounding the volcano and Seismic signals have been indicating “discrete earthquakes” since the latest large eruption began at roughly 09:24 AKDT (17:24 UTC).
Environmentalists are becoming increasingly concerned regarding the condition of a near-by Chevron oil storage facility. Chevron was at first reluctant to divulge the volume of oil held in the facility’s tanks but after pressure from concerned parties the company announced that over 6 million gallons of oil remained in the tanks according to Environment News Service. The latest information regarding the most recent eruption:
A large eruption of the Mt. Redoubt volcano occurred at 9:24 this morning local time, shooting a plume of ash and gas 65,000 feet into the air, according to National Weather Service reports and the observations of aircraft pilots.
The eruption sent a mudflow down the Drift River valley that was detected by seismic instruments at the Alaska Volcano Observatory.
An evacuated Chevron oil storage facility containing six million gallons of Cook Inlet crude is situated near the mouth of the Drift River where it empties into Cook Inlet. Official reports have not clarified whether or not the Drift River oil storage facility has sustained any damage.
Mt. Redoubt is still at Aviation Color Code – RED
Volcano Alert Level is at ” WARNING”
Yes go ahead say it, I’m a weather weenie. There is nothing I look forward to more than a few flakes and folks I’m not talking about my friends . According to the latest computer models we are once again in for some white stuff. Here is the latest from Meteorologist Allan Huffman’s weather page, Raleigh Weather Examiner.
Hi folks, after digesting the latest model data that has come out today, my confidence is growing that this going to be a significant snowstorm for the upsate of South Carolina through much of central and east-central North Carolina, and eastern and southeastern Virginia. Areas where this could also be a big deal, but where I have lower confidence are, northern and north-central Georgia, the mountains and foothills of North Carolina, eastern Tennessee, and central Virginia.
As far as amounts go, I will try to zero in on this tomorrow, but as of now I would say a general 4-8 inch snow is likely in the dark blue areas, with the upside being isolated areas of 10-12 inches. Again, I will try to zero in on this tomorrow.
Oh yeah, now that’s what I’m talking about. Hey Suzanne what time should I come over to shovel the barn?
This brings out the weather weenie in me.
FORECAST CONFIDENCE INCREASING AS NEAR/SHORT TERM MODEL GUIDANCE
HAVE COME INTO GOOD AGREEMENT CONCERNING PLACEMENT/MOVEMENT OF
SURFACE/805MB LOW AND PROBABILITY OF MEASURABLE SNOW ACROSS CENTRAL
NC LATE TONIGHT AND TUESDAY.
AS COLUMN BECOMES COLDER…TRENDED SNOW RATIO TO 8:1 PRE-DAWN HOURS THEN 12:1 BY MID
Jean we are finally getting our snow. YeeHaw!
The National Hurricane Center isn’t to worried about 94L but if you take a look (via webcam) at HWY 12 on Hatteras Island at Rodanthe it is completely covered with ocean overwash now. It is about 3 1/2 hours since high tide. Not good for the coastal region.
Photos: 1st photo is an Aerial Photo of the Lab Complex in question and 2nd Photo is the Keiller Building. Consider this explaination from Dr. Mike Holland, Director of CERES (Coalition for Environmental Responsibility and Education through Synergy) “Here is the lab in question from Google map (marked “A” in blue pointer. Google has a street view at position of little person to left of Keiler; the photo view is below this aerial ). Note the Google location for the Keiller building puts it in the terra cotta colored roof to the north, but I suspect, by the number of fume hood vents on and shadows of vents coming out of the more modern building just to the south, that the BSL -4 is there, instead”. Thanks to Dr.Holland for the photos and explaination.
Serious questions are surfacing concerning the havoc Hurricane Ike may have caused at the Shope Laboratory and the National Bio-Containment Facility in Galveston, Texas. What happened depends on what sources you read. Would they really destroy pathogens thus destroying research. The skeptic in me says something smells fishy and it ain’t the ones that were washed ashore. The Biodefense Barbecue asks some very serious questions which if I lived near the facilities I would want some answers.
•Why did it apparently take several days to restore emergency power to the BSL-4s, and how long would it have taken if Ike had been a category 3, 4, or even 5 storm? This is, after all, one of the three most dangerous disease agent collections in the United States.
•What building systems are kept online by emergency power? Does the emergency system keep disease samples in the BSL-3 and BSL-4 labs frozen and is it capable of maintaining negative air pressure in the BSL-3/4 zones (and powering the BSL-4 “space suit” air supply systems) ?
•UTMBhas brought tens of thousands of pounds of dry ice onto the island to maintain samples frozen. If any of this dry ice is destined for BSL-3 and/or BSL-4 labs, can the freezer packs be replenished safely? That is, without loss of negative pressure and without other issues, e.g. carbon dioxide buildup in sealed places.
•What is the actual status of the so-called “Galveston National Lab” BSL-4 terror facility? UTMB’s web site last reported on it several days ago and stated that it is intact “as far as we can see”, suggesting only an exterior appraisal has been performed.
•What is the status of the Keiller Building, which contains a BSL-4 lab (the “Shope Lab”), and whose basement was flooded? What building and labs systems were compromised by the flooding, and did water intrude into higher stories?
•How many experiments were prematurely terminated due to Ike, how many animals sacrificed, and what was the cost of these experiments to taxpayers? If an emergency hurricane shutdown like this is necessary once a year or more, what are the impacts on the scientific and fiscal efficiency of the labs?
•What are the direct costs of this shutdown and recovery effort of the terror labs?
Then you have CNN reporting that;