Walker Solt

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Robert Reich: Deadbeat 1 percenters endanger U.S. democracy

The former secretary of labor on the threat of dynastic wealth and how we can avoid a permanent aristocracy<p>Robert Reich<p>July 17, 2014 11:15am (UTC)<p>This originally appeared on Robert Reich’s blog.<p>In a new Pew poll, more than three quarters of self-described conservatives believe “poor people have it …

APOD: SN 1006 Supernova Remnant (2014 Jul 12) Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Zolt Levay (STScI) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140712.html Explanation: A new star, likely the brightest supernova in recorded human history, lit up planet Earth's sky in the year 1006 AD. The expanding debris cloud from the stellar explosion, found in the southerly constellation of Lupus, still puts on a cosmic light show across the electromagnetic spectrum. In fact, this composite view includes X-ray data in blue from the Chandra Observatory, optical data in yellowish hues, and radio image data in red. Now known as the SN 1006 supernova remnant, the debris cloud appears to be about 60 light-years across and is understood to represent the remains of a white dwarf star. Part of a binary star system, the compact white dwarf gradually captured material from its companion star. The buildup in mass finally triggered a thermonuclear explosion that destroyed the dwarf star. Because the distance to the supernova remnant is about 7,000 light-years, that explosion actually happened 7,000 years before the light reached Earth in 1006. Shockwaves in the remnant accelerate particles to extreme energies and are thought to be a source of the mysterious cosmic rays. http://www.nasa.gov/ http://www.spacetelescope.org/ http://www.stsci.edu/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140712 #APOD http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2008/sn1006c/ Image Credit: X-ray (blue): NASA/CXC/Rutgers/G.Cassam-Chenaï, J.Hughes et al.; Radio (red): NRAO/AUI/NSF/GBT/VLA/Dyer, Maddalena & Cornwell; Optical (orange/yellow): Middlebury College/F.Winkler, NOAO/AURA/NSF/CTIO Schmidt & DSS

Scientist find that 80 percent of all light in the Universe is missing

According to observations made by the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph on board the Hubble Space Telescope, the Universe is <i>missing</i> 80 percent of all its …

Lost At Sea? Survive With These Tricks

A handy manual to prepare you for life's misadventures.<p>Jose Salvador Alvarenga was fishing off the coast of Mexico in late 2012 when a powerful storm sent his boat adrift. Marshall Islanders found the battered vessel nearly 16 months later, stuck on a reef—with Alvarenga still alive inside. …

Pavlok is a habit-forming wearable that will shock you

"Wake up sleepy head... it's time to go to the gym." "Put down those chips!" "Stop wasting time on Facebook." If any of the above statements resonate with you, then you're not alone. Maneesh Sethi, author and Stanford alumnus has said all of the above to himself at one point, and wanted to know …

Homni: The new superorganism taking over Earth

Is our species evolving into something new? Gaia Vince makes the provocative argument that humanity is transforming, and it is already having a huge effect on life on our planet.<p>In Ancient Greek mythology, the Earth Goddess Gaia had nine titan sons, who attempted to control not just the Earth, but …

First named storm of season could drench 4th

East Coasters, if intense rains and strong winds ruin your Fourth of July holiday, you will have Arthur to blame.<p>That's the name of the first named storm of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season. Arthur is now churning off the coast of eastern Florida.<p>As of 8 p.m. Tuesday, the center of Tropical Storm …

Colorado's Governor on Marijuana Legalization

John Hickenlooper opposed voter efforts to end prohibition. Now he is charged with implementing one of the first recreational weed markets in America.<p>ASPEN, Colo.—Governor John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, opposed voter efforts to make marijuana legal in his state. Now he is charged with implementing …

The Surprisingly Strong Case for Colonizing Venus

Science fiction writers have come up with a plausible scenario for a floating city above the fiery planet.<p>Why worry about building a colony on Mars when instead you could float one high above the surface of Venus? Science fiction writer Charles Stross recently revived the idea of building a …

APOD: Wolf-Rayet Star 124: Stellar Wind Machine (2014 Jul 01) Image Credit: Hubble Legacy Archive, NASA, ESA Processing & Licence: Judy Schmidt http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140701.html Explanation: Some stars explode in slow motion. Rare, massive Wolf-Rayet stars are so tumultuous and hot that they slowly disintegrating right before our telescopes. Glowing gas globs each typically over 30 times more massive than the Earth are being expelled by violent stellar winds. Wolf-Rayet star WR 124, visible near the above image center spanning six light years across, is thus creating the surrounding nebula known as M1-67. Details of why this star has been slowly blowing itself apart over the past 20,000 years remains a topic of research. WR 124 lies 15,000 light-years away towards the constellation of Sagitta. The fate of any given Wolf-Rayet star likely depends on how massive it is, but many are thought to end their lives with spectacular explosions such as supernovas or gamma-ray bursts. http://hla.stsci.edu/ http://www.nasa.gov/ http://www.esa.int/ http://geckzilla.com/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140701 #APOD

APOD: Peculiar Elliptical Galaxy Centaurus A (2014 Jun 30) Image Credit & Copyright: Roberto Colombari http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140630.html Explanation: What's happened to the center of this galaxy? Unusual and dramatic dust lanes run across the center of elliptical galaxy Centaurus A. These dust lanes are so thick they almost completely obscure the galaxy's center in visible light. This is particularly unusual as Cen A's red stars and round shape are characteristic of a giant elliptical galaxy, a galaxy type usually low in dark dust. Cen A, also known as NGC 5128, is also unusual compared to an average elliptical galaxy because it contains a higher proportion of young blue stars and is a very strong source of radio emission. Evidence indicates that Cen A is likely the result of the collision of two normal galaxies. During the collision, many young stars were formed, but details of the creation of Cen A's unusual dust belts are still being researched. Cen A lies only 13 million light years away, making it the closest active galaxy. Cen A, pictured above, spans 60,000 light years and can be seen with binoculars toward the constellation of Centaurus. http://www.astrobin.com/users/rob77/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140630 #APOD