This is what Saturn looks like at night. In contrast to the human-made lights that cause the nighttime side of Earth to glow faintly, Saturn’s faint nighttime glow is primarily caused by sunlight reflecting off of its own majestic rings. The above image of Saturn at night was captured in July by the Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn. The above image was taken when the Sun was far in front of the spacecraft. From this vantage point, the northern hemisphere of nighttime Saturn, visible on the left, appears eerily dark. Sunlit rings are visible ahead, but are abruptly cut off by Saturn‘s shadow. In Saturn’s southern hemisphere, visible on the right, the dim reflected glow from the sunlit rings is most apparent. Imprinted on this diffuse glow, though, are thin black stripes not discernable to any Earth telescope — the silhouetted C ring of Saturn. Cassini has been orbiting Saturn since 2004 and its mission is scheduled to continue until 2008.
Hmm… new iPods, new nano’s, new shuffles. That’s quite a product life cycle…
And as predicted the iTunes Movie Store. And, again as predicted, Disney only, USA only. But at a 640×480 resolution, a pirate still has a better quality product. The DRM limits look a bit less unfriendly than the Amazon offering, but pricing is still to high for a digital-only product.
It’ll be interesting to see if this takes off – I predict a success (yes, despite my misgivings).
Personally, I’m more interested in the set-top box they’re going to do in 2007…
Here’s what the user interface is going to look like:
Michael Tuohey was going to work like he had for 37 years, but little did he know that this day would change his life forever. On September 11, 2001, Tuohey, a ticket agent for U.S. Airways, checked in terrorist Mohammed Atta for a flight that started a chain of events that would change history.
Tuohey was working the U.S. Airways first-class check-in desk when two men, Atta and his companion Abdul Azziz-Alomari, approached his counter. From all outward appearances, the men seemed to be normal businessmen, but Tuohey felt something was wrong.
“I got an instant chill when I looked at [Atta]. I got this grip in my stomach and then, of course, I gave myself a political correct slap…I thought, ‘My God, Michael, these are just a couple of Arab businessmen.’”
Atta and Alomari, were flying first-class from Portland, Maine, to Boston, Massachusetts, where they would board the American Airlines flight bound for the Twin Towers.
With security alerts at a normal level, and no solid security protocol in place, Tuohey gave them their tickets, but, going with his gut instinct, he refused to give the men boarding passes for their connecting flight, forcing the pair to go through another security check-point in Boston.
“I just had the feeling I was looking into the face of evil. They were the deadest eyes I’ve ever seen. I mean, it was just an unmistakable face. Cold,” says Tuohey.
When Tuohey first heard about a plane hitting the World Trade Center, he thought it was just an accident. When the second plane hit, he knew his instincts had been correct. “My first reaction was, ‘I was right. This guy was a terrorist.’”
Since that fateful day, Tuohey has lived with a lot of guilt and “what ifs.”
Plagued by sleepless nights and visions of Atta, Tuohey felt another layer of guilt when he learned the ticket agent in Boston who checked in Atta and Alomari for the last leg of their flight committed suicide.
Tuohey: I’m saying, my God, if I had just done the job the way I was supposed to she never would have seen these people.
Oprah: But this is the thing … If you’re going to beat yourself up and be guilty about it and say, “What I could have done,” what could you have done?
Tuohey: Basically nothing.
Oprah: Well then…
Tuohey: Yeah, I know. I know that. … But try to convince your mind.
Yet what is happening this very night?
A mini-series, created, influenced — possibly financed by — the most radical and cold of domestic political Machiavellis, continues to be televised into our homes.
The documented truths of the last fifteen years are replaced by bald-faced lies; the talking points of the current regime parroted; the whole sorry story blurred, by spin, to make the party out of office seem vacillating and impotent, and the party in office, seem like the only option.
How dare you, Mr. President, after taking cynical advantage of the unanimity and love, and transmuting it into fraudulent war and needless death, after monstrously transforming it into fear and suspicion and turning that fear into the campaign slogan of three elections? How dare you — or those around you — ever “spin” 9/11?
Just as the terrorists have succeeded — are still succeeding — as long as there is no memorial and no construction here at Ground Zero.
So, too, have they succeeded, and are still succeeding as long as this government uses 9/11 as a wedge to pit Americans against Americans.
This is an odd point to cite a television program, especially one from March of 1960. But as Disney’s continuing sell-out of the truth (and this country) suggests, even television programs can be powerful things.
And long ago, a series called “The Twilight Zone” broadcast a riveting episode entitled “The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street.”
In brief: a meteor sparks rumors of an invasion by extra-terrestrials disguised as humans. The electricity goes out. A neighbor pleads for calm. Suddenly his car — and only his car — starts. Someone suggests he must be the alien. Then another man’s lights go on. As charges and suspicion and panic overtake the street, guns are inevitably produced. An “alien” is shot — but he turns out to be just another neighbor, returning from going for help. The camera pulls back to a near-by hill, where two extra-terrestrials are seen manipulating a small device that can jam electricity. The veteran tells his novice that there’s no need to actually attack, that you just turn off a few of the human machines and then, “they pick the most dangerous enemy they can find, and it’s themselves.”
And then, in perhaps his finest piece of writing, Rod Serling sums it up with words of remarkable prescience, given where we find ourselves tonight: “The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices, to be found only in the minds of men.
“For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all its own — for the children, and the children yet unborn.”
When those who dissent are told time and time again — as we will be, if not tonight by the President, then tomorrow by his portable public chorus — that he is preserving our freedom, but that if we use any of it, we are somehow un-American…When we are scolded, that if we merely question, we have “forgotten the lessons of 9/11″… look into this empty space behind me and the bi-partisanship upon which this administration also did not build, and tell me:
Who has left this hole in the ground?
We have not forgotten, Mr. President.
May this country forgive you.
Marine scientists hope ”test-tube coral babies” will take root to help restore a tract of reef ravaged by a 1984 ship grounding in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
A team of University of Miami marine science researchers is collecting coral eggs and sperm all this week during an annual reproductive ritual, dubbed coral spawning.
Looking like an upside-down, underwater snowstorm, most corals in the Keys, Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean release eggs and sperm into the water a few days after the full moon in August. In the wild, eggs and sperm randomly mix and fertilize to become larvae. Some take root to become foundation blocks for new coral.
Researchers led by Margaret Miller, an ecologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service, gather spawn in cone-shaped, tent collectors anchored over portions of the coral reef off Key Largo. The spawn is blended in jars and the portion that fertilizes is transported to a field laboratory.
This news came to me through a dutch youth news site. Although the english language article doesn’t mention it, the Rotterdam Zoo Blijdorp was part of this research, and the coral they’ve been developing this with is “elkhorn coral” – an increasingly rare coral species.
The team managing NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity had set ‘Victoria Crater’ as a long-term destination even before the rover climbed out of ‘Endurance Crater’ in December 2004. As of early September 2006, Opportunity has driven more than 7.2 kilometers (4.5 miles) since leaving Endurance and is approaching Victoria.
Victoria is the large crater near the bottom of this map made from images taken by the Mars Orbiter Camera on NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor. The gold line traces Opportunity’s path eastward then southward from “Eagle Crater,” where it landed, to Endurance Crater, where it spent six months, and nearly to Victoria. The south end of the line indicates the Opportunity’s location as of the rover’s 930th Martian day, or sol, (Sept. 5, 2006). Victoria is about 750 meters (0.47 mile) in diameter, or about six times wider than Endurance and 35 time wider than Eagle. The scale bar at lower right shows the length of 800 meters (0.50 mile). North is up.
“Then, with the approval of the Iraqi government, we will demolish the Abu Ghraib prison, as a fitting symbol of Iraq’s new beginning.”
– George W. Bush, May 24, 2004
Keeping promises is hard work…
The notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad is at the centre of fresh abuse allegations just a week after it was handed over to Iraqi authorities, with claims that inmates are being tortured by their new captors.
title is mine, original title for the article is “(CIA) Business as Usual?: Would the Administration Bill Effectively “Overrule” Hamdan?”
Jack’s scenario below — in which Al Qaeda operatives seeking intelligence information from U.S. prisoners subject those detainees to mild physical assault, sleep deprivation, “long time standing,” hypothermia and waterboarding — points out a certain irony at the heart of the Administration’s draft bill — namely, that although it codifies numerous crimes in violations of the laws of war, it would appear to legalize one set of war crimes that are currently unlawful.
Two centerpieces of that bill are (i) a very detailed list of 27 categories of offenses (mostly violations of the laws of war) that could be tried by the Administration’s proposed military commissions; and (ii) another detailed list of nine categories of “war crimes” that could be tried in our civilian criminal courts under a revised War Crimes Act. These two lists catalogue virtually every war-related crime imaginable — from attacking civilians, pillaging, denying quarter, using posion, using human shields, trechery, and “conspiracy,” to biological experiments, rape and hostage-taking.
There is a conspicuous omission, however: It appears that most or all of the CIA’s “alternative” interrogation techniques, such as those Jack lists, are not covered on either list.
Under current law, such techniques could almost certainly be prosecuted either as violations of the laws of war, by a court martial or by a properly constituted military commission, or as “war crimes” in a civilian criminal court, under the War Crimes Act, because they violate the prohibition on “cruel treatment” in Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. But under the Administration’s draft bill, such conduct apparently could no longer be prosecuted under either of these two legal systems for handling war-related crimes. Therefore, if Al Qaeda today subjected our personnel to the horrors that Jack hypothesizes, we could prosecute such conduct; yet it appears that such cruel treatment would be outside the law under the Administration’s proposed legislation. (Possible caveat: Such conduct might be prosecutable as “spying” under paragraph 26 of the list of military-commission offenses, not because of the techniques used, but because that provision would make criminal any attempts to collect intelligence against the U.S. “by clandestine means.”)