The above lightning bolt starts with many simultaneously creating ionized channels branching out from an negatively charged pool of electrons and ions that has somehow been created by drafts and collisions in a rain cloud. About 0.015 seconds after appearing — which takes about 3 seconds in the above time-lapse video — one of the meandering charge leaders makes contact with a suddenly appearing positive spike moving up from the ground and an ionized channel of air is created that instantly acts like a wire. Immediately afterwards, this hot channel pulses with a tremendous amount of charges shooting back and forth between the cloud and the ground, creating a dangerous explosion that is later heard as thunder. Much remains unknown about lightning, however, including details of the mechanism that separates charges.
So all that we see — the billions of stars in our galaxy, the hundreds of billions of galaxies lighting up the observable Universe — is just a teeny-tiny fraction of what’s actually out there, beyond what we can see. And yet, we can know that it’s there. Isn’t science wonderful?
Msgr. William J. Lynn, the first Roman Catholic official in the United States to be convicted of covering up sexual abuses by priests under his supervision, was sentenced to three to six years in prison on Tuesday.
“You knew full well what was right, Monsignor Lynn, but you chose wrong,” said Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina as she imposed the sentence, which was just short of the maximum of three and a half to seven years.
Monsignor Lynn, 61, a former Cardinal’s aide, was found guilty on June 22 of one count of endangering a child, after a three-month trial that revealed efforts over decades by the Philadelphia archdiocese to play down accusations of child sexual abuse and avoid scandal.
The conviction of Monsignor Lynn, now punctuated by a prison sentence, has reverberated among Catholic officials around the country, church experts said.
“I think this is going to send a very strong signal to every bishop and everybody who worked for a bishop that if they don’t do the right thing they may go to jail,” said Rev. Thomas J. Reese, a senior fellow of the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University. “They can’t just say the bishop made me do it, that’s not going to be an excuse that holds up in court.”
Since 1990, Gallup has been asking Americans whether they think gun control laws should be stricter. The answer, increasingly, is that they don’t. “The percentage in favor of making the laws governing the sale of firearms ‘more strict’ fell from 78% in 1990 to 62% in 1995, and 51% in 2007,” reports Gallup. “In the most recent reading, Gallup in 2010 found 44% in favor of stricter laws. In fact, in 2009 and again last year, the slight majority said gun laws should either remain the same or be made less strict.”
In one of the most shocking articles that the New York Times has ever put out, a New York Times reporter has openly admitted that virtually every major mainstream news organization allows government bureaucrats and campaign officials to censor their stories.
For example, almost every major news organization in the country has agreed to submit virtually all quotes from anyone involved in the Obama campaign or the Romney campaign to gatekeepers for “quote approval” before they will be published. If the gatekeeper in the Obama campaign does not want a certain quote to get out, the American people will not see it, and the same thing applies to the Romney campaign. The goal is to keep the campaigns as “on message” as possible and to avoid gaffes at all cost. But this kind of thing is not just happening with political campaigns. According to the New York Times, “quote approval” has become “commonplace throughout Washington”. In other words, if you see a quote in the newspaper from someone in the federal government then it is safe to say that a gatekeeper has almost certainly reviewed that quote and has approved it.
While Election Day is less than four months away, the 2012 presidential campaign has already been on the nation’s radar for more than a year, and a new poll shows Americans are not pleased with the course of the race.
Nearly eight in 10 Americans, or 78%, say they are “frustrated” by the ongoing political battle, according to a new Knights of Columbus-Marist survey released Tuesday.
About three-quarters of Americans believe this election year is more intense in its negative campaigning than previous years, with 74% saying the problem is getting worse.
A Kentucky teenager frustrated by light punishment for two boys who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting her was spared Monday from having to face a contempt charge for naming them on Twitter in violation of a court order.
The case of Savannah Dietrich, 17, quickly gathered supporters nationwide who were upset that the victim of an assault could be punished for speaking out against her attackers.
The girl turned to Twitter after she said she was frustrated with what she felt was a lenient plea deal. The judge had ordered no one to speak about the case, which was in juvenile court.
On Monday, attorneys for the boys dropped their motion to charge her with contempt. David Mejia, an attorney for one of the boys, said the decision to withdraw the motion had nothing to do with public sentiment and online attention to the case.
He said the purpose of the motion had been to enforce the law that protects juveniles and their actions from disclosure.
“The horse is out of the barn,” he said. “Nothing is bringing it back.”
“I think her behavior will dictate whether it’s the end of it or not,” Klein said. “If all the parties abide by the confidentiality of juvenile court, then I think that’s the end of it.”
In other words, Klein, you still just want her to shut up about being raped?
For a while now, we’ve been following the ridiculous story of Richard O’Dwyer, the student in the UK who the US is trying to extradite to face criminal charges, all because he created a website where people linked to streaming TV shows (some legal, some not). At no time did he host illegal content. He just built the site. While the public has spoken out against the extradition, the Home Office, led by Home Secretary Theresa May, has so far held fast to sending O’Dwyer across the Atlantic.
Given all that, it’s interesting to see this story, sent over by PressurCookrTheatr, highlighting the kinds of folks that Theresa May and the UK Home Office have refused to extradite over the last few years. It turns out it’s a large and growing number, and even includes some terrorists. In those cases, however, May has magically decided that there are “human rights” reasons to keep them in the UK.
- In 2011, at least one terrorist – and possibly up to four – was allowed to stay, as well as up to eight killers and rapists. Also among the total were 20 robbers and up to eight paedophiles, plus as many as four people convicted of firearms offences.
- In 2010, the Home Office conceded in the cases of up to four murderers and up to four people convicted of manslaughter, as well as up to four rapists, up to eight paedophiles and 43 people convicted of violent crime or robbery.
That’s from The Telegraph, which found out that and much more via a Freedom of Information Act request. The article has a lot more detail, but it seems pretty clear that May and the UK government have rejected extradition on all sorts of cases involving people accused of all sorts of horrible things. But when it comes to O’Dwyer? Well, you know, the MPAA is upset with him, so he’s gotta go…
One of the many alleged BitTorrent users to fall victim to copyright trolls in recent years has launched an impressive counterattack against a plaintiff who accused him of downloading an adult movie. Jeff Fantalis of Louisville wants millions of dollars in damages for defamation, emotional distress and invasion of privacy, plus a prominent retraction in a local newspaper. Fantalis further asks the court to rule that porn can’t be copyrighted as it is not a “useful art.”
While there is no guarantee that there will be a ruling on any or all counts, the counter-suit has a wealth of information for other defendants and lawyers. As Jane Doe points out, the filing in itself contains the best explanation of the copyright trolls’ “extortion” scheme that exists to date.
…Why would the United States, which now devotes 40% of its corn crop to the production of ethanol, import more than 4 billion gallons of ethanol from Brazil? And why would Brazil at the same time import a projected 2 billion gallons from the U.S.? Couldn’t we just save all those transactions costs and shipping-related greenhouse gas emissions by keeping our ethanol and cutting our projected ethanol imports from Brazil in half?
Not if your goal is to game the U.S. biofuel mandate.
With subsidies you often get what you pay for, just not always what everyone expected.