Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A Triple Play

The 4th merger of two black holes has been detected. How cool is that?

Astronomers have made a new detection of gravitational waves, named GW170814, after the day it was detected,  that occurred nearly 2 billion years ago, and for the first time have been able to trace the shape of spacetime ripples sent when black holes collide. The announcement, made at a meeting of the G7 science ministers in Turin, Italy marks the fourth discovery of cataclysmic black-hole merger, and the first to have also been picked up by the Virgo detector, located near Pisa, Italy, reveals a new layer of detail on the three dimensional pattern of warping that occurs during the violent collisions of black holes.

The Virgo team has been hunting for ripples in the fabric of space-time since 2007. But it was being upgraded at the time of the historic first detection of gravitational waves by the twin laboratories of Virgo’s US cousin, the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), and was also out of action for two subsequent sightings, according to

Virgo rejoined the hunt this year on 1 August, following a 5-year, €23-million (US$27-million) upgrade. And on 14 August, both it and LIGO picked up the gravitational vibrations emanating from a pair of rotating black holes, with masses of 31 and 25 times that of the Sun, as they merged together, physicists announced on 27 September at a press conference in Turin, Italy. The collision happened around 540 million parsecs (1.8 billion light years) away in the direction of the constellation Eridanus.

Stellar without question.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Infrastructure Collapse 101

This is what happens when the infrastructure collapses. This time, Puerto Rico.

Among the greatest threats is the continuing lack of power throughout much of the island, after nearly the entire power grid was knocked offline during the storm (about 80 percent of the transmission infrastructure was destroyed). The New York Times reports it could be four to six months before power is restored on the island. That’s half a year with Puerto Rico’s 3.4 million residents relying on generators, half a year without air conditioning in the tropical climate, half a year where electric pumps can’t bring running water into homes, half a year where even the most basic tasks of modern life are made difficult.

“The devastation is vast,” Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello said in a statement Monday. “Make no mistake — this is a humanitarian disaster involving 3.4 million U.S. citizens.”

Any questions Donald?

Inappropriate Behavior

I really wanna ...

A zombie jamboree

Hacker's anonymous ...

Just another way to diet.

Channeling Orwell yet again

As my loyal readers know, George Orwell plays a very important role in terms of my political beliefs as Orwell was, IMHO, neither liberal or conservative but rather distrustful, to say the least, in terms of how governments rule, no matter what kind of government the entity may be due to how language and intent are intertwined in legitimizing the government in question, something brilliantly articulated in Politics and the English Language, an essay everyone should read to see why this concept rings true.

With this in mind, the Alternet article linking Churchill to Orwell is a must read to see why Orwell is more relevant than ever, no matter what political stripe a person might be in the year of our lord 2017.

The takeaways are resonate today, whether we’re talking about an executive branch that lies, erases and revises history, or the tech sectors that spies on citizens and sells its files. What prompted these men, and especially Orwell, to reject herd mentalities in private and in public?

Thomas Ricks: Oddly enough, I suspect for Orwell, it began with his love of personal observation. Even a child, he loved observing nature, and that continued throughout his life. If you read his diaries, he had a habit of just writing down what he physically sees around him, what he’s thinking about, what he’s hearing people talk about—just basic observation. I think for Orwell, that becomes a part of departure, that human freedom begins with the right to perceive and to trust your own perceptions.

Of course, Orwell as an adult, bangs up against Stalinism, which says, ‘No, we will tell you what to think. If you’re a good member of the Communist Party, you will believe what we tell you to think. We will decide what is right and what is wrong. We will decide what the facts of the matter are.’ That’s where Orwell breaks with Stalinism, but he doesn’t break with the left. He remains a socialist all his life.

Yours truly disagrees with the issue that Orwell was totally leftist due to his great essay describing how the left and right manipulate language to their own ends. Another reason why yours truly breaks with this otherwise terrific piece lies in Homage to Catalonia, Orwell's take on the Spanish Civil War where Fascism and Communism collide with predictably dire results.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

AI Writ Small

AI writ small or a nanowire sized neural net that learns presages a new age of artificial intelligence at truly small scale.

The more powerful systems become, the more biological they resemble - Robert E.

Monday, September 18, 2017

8 are out there

8 are out there. Here's the roundup.

Besides Cassini, eight missions have passed the asteroid belt – and several are still broadcasting from the furthest solar system and beyond.

Pioneer 10
Launched: 3 March 1972

Pioneer 10 was the first probe to cross the asteroid belt, traversing it between July 1972 and February 1973. Arriving at Jupiter in December 1973, it passed some 132,000 kilometres from its cloud tops, and obtained fuzzy images of the four large “Galilean” moons, Ganymede, Europa, Callisto and Io. Now out of contact, this true space pioneer was last spotted coasting towards the constellation Taurus and the red star Aldebaran, which it should reach some 2 million years from now.

Current status: Last contact 23 January 2003, now estimated to be 16 billion kilometres from Earth

Pioneer 11
Launched: 6 April 1973

Visiting Jupiter a year after Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11 continued to Saturn, testing the dangers of navigating the planet’s rings and flying within 21,000 kilometres of its surface on 1 September 1979. It almost collided with a small Saturnian moon and photographed Titan, the largest moon. An anomalous slowing of both the Pioneer probes brought long-lasting speculation that the established laws of gravity didn’t work in space. The “Pioneer anomaly” is now thought to be down to heat loss from the probes’ thermoelectric generators.

Current status: Last contact 30 September 1995, now estimated to be 14 billion kilometres from Earth, heading towards the constellation Scutum

Voyager 2
Launched: 20 August 1977

In the 1960s, space scientists realised that a happy configuration of the outer solar system would allow one probe to visit four planets. Voyager 2 remains the only probe to have visited the two furthermost ice giants: Uranus in January 1986 and Neptune in August 1989. Its primary radio receiver failed in 1978, but 40 years on it is still sending back data as it crosses the edge of the solar system, called the heliosheath, and enters interstellar space.

Current status: 17 billion kilometres from Earth, heading towards the constellation Telescopium

Voyager 1
Launched: 5 September 1977

Voyager 1 launched after Voyager 2, but took a faster trajectory to Jupiter and Saturn, arriving at both first. Its route was optimised to bring it within 6500 kilometres of Titan, confirming Pioneer 11’s observation that the moon possessed a thick atmosphere. On 14 February 1990, Voyager 1 turned its camera to take the first family portrait of Earth and other solar system planets. Still transmitting from interstellar space, Voyager 1 is now the furthest human-made object from Earth. Both Voyager probes carry “golden records” of sounds and images of Earth for any alien intercepter.

Current status: 21 billion kilometres from Earth, heading towards the constellation Ophiuchus

Launched: 18 October 1989

Galileo was the first mission to spend years orbiting a planetary system, rather than simply passing through on its way elsewhere. On its six-year journey to Jupiter, it turned its instruments on Earth, picking up signs of life such as the absorption of red light by chlorophyll. Inserted into Jupiter orbit on 7 December 1995, Galileo’s activities included sending a probe into the giant planet’s atmosphere . It also collected data supporting the theory that Jupiter’s moon Europa has a subsurface liquid ocean.

Current status: Mission terminated with a plunge into Jupiter’s atmosphere on 21 September 2003

Launched: 6 October 1990

The prime objective of the Ulysses probe was to survey the sun, but it took a long gravitational slingshot around Jupiter, thus entering an orbit over the top of the solar system that enabled it to monitor the sun’s north and south poles.

Current status: Decommissioned 30 June 2009

Launched: 15 October 1997

Spending 13 years cruising Saturn’s moons, Cassini fulfilled the goal of sending a probe to the moon Titan.

Current status: Mission due to terminate in Saturn’s atmosphere, 15 September 2017

New Horizons
Launched: 19 January 2006

It is the fastest spacecraft ever launched, but by the time New Horizons reached Pluto on 14 July 2015, its destination had changed: Pluto had been controversially downgraded by the International Astronomical Union from “planet” to “dwarf planet” in August 2006. New Horizons took intriguing photos of this rocky world’s hazy atmosphere and surprisingly varied, craggy surface, as well as its moons. It is now on its way for a rendezvous with the snappily titled space rock (486958) 2014 MU69 in the Kuiper belt, where it is expected to arrive on 1 January 2019.

Click here to get the New Scientist poster.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Snarky but effective :)

Love my Galaxy S8 but Google's upcoming new phone sounds interesting without question. :)

Monday, September 11, 2017

Science done right, without question

Literacy, Competency & Humility

This illustration points out the vast difference of Trump vs Kennedy and Eisenhower in terms of literacy, competency and humility, traits that prevented the world from blowing up in 1962 regarding the Missiles of October.

Given what we have seen thus far, I think not.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Armageddon anyone?

  1. Warhead before firing. The nested spheres at the top are the fission primary; the cylinders below are the fusion secondary device.
  2. Fission primary's explosives have detonated and collapsed the primary's fissile pit.
  3. The primary's fission reaction has run to completion, and the primary is now at several million degrees and radiating gamma and hard X-rays, heating up the inside of the hohlraum and the shield and secondary's tamper.
  4. The primary's reaction is over and it has expanded. The surface of the pusher for the secondary is now so hot that it is also ablating or expanding away, pushing the rest of the secondary (tamper, fusion fuel, and fissile spark plug) inwards. The spark plug starts to fission. Not depicted: the radiation case is also ablating and expanding outwards (omitted for clarity of diagram).
  5. The secondary's fuel has started the fusion reaction and shortly will burn up. A fireball starts to form.

So explains how an h bomb explodes as per Wikipedia.

What is not explained in this exquisite description of death on a truly grand scale is the insane policy of the US vs Russia and how this can create Armageddon based on stupidity, corruption and a total lack of understanding on how the Deep State runs America.

The United States shows the world such a ridiculous face that the world laughs at us.

The latest spin on “Russia stole the election” is that Russia used Facebook to influence the election. The NPR women yesterday were breathless about it.

We have been subjected to ten months of propaganda about Trump/Putin election interference and still not a scrap of evidence. It is past time to ask an unasked question: If there were evidence, what is the big deal? All sorts of interest groups try to influence election outcomes including foreign governments. Why is it OK for Israel to influence US elections but not for Russia to do so? Why do you think the armament industry, the energy industry, agribusiness, Wall Street and the banks, pharmaceutical companies, etc., etc., supply the huge sum of money to finance election campaigns if their intent is not to influence the election? Why do editorial boards write editorials endorsing one candidate and damning another if they are not influencing the election?

What is the difference between influencing the election and influencing the government? Washington is full of lobbyists of all descriptions, including lobbyists for foreign governments, working round the clock to influence the US government. It is safe to say that the least represented in the government are the citizens themselves who don’t have any lobbyists working for them.

It gets better.

I believe it is time to change the subject. The important question is who is it that is trying so hard to convince Americans that Russian influence prevails over us?

Do the idiots pushing this line realize how impotent this makes an alleged “superpower” look. How can we be the hegemonic power that the Zionist neocons say we are when Russia can decide who is the president of the United States?

The US has a massive spy state that even intercepts the private cell phone conversations of the Chancellor of Germany, but his massive spy organization is unable to produce one scrap of evidence that the Russians conspired with Trump to steal the presidential election from Hillary. When will the imbeciles realize that when they make charges for which no evidence can be produced they make the United States look silly, foolish, incompetent, stupid beyond all belief?

Interesting questions don't you think?

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Linear Moves +

Ultra closeup of Saturn's rings reveal linear lines of great delicacy and subtle gradations of color based on greys, tans and blacks. Stellar imagery but that's par for the course for Cassini, the little probe that can.

These are the highest-resolution color images of any part of Saturn's rings, to date, showing a portion of the inner-central part of the planet's B Ring. The view is a mosaic of two images that show a region that lies between 61,300 and 65,600 miles (98,600 and 105,500 kilometers) from Saturn's center.

The first image (Figure A, above) is a natural color composite, created using images taken with red, green and blue spectral filters. The pale tan color is generally not perceptible with the naked eye in telescope views, especially given that Saturn has a similar hue.

This image was taken on July 6, 2017, with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera. The image was acquired on the sunlit side of the rings from a distance of 47,000 miles (76,000 kilometers) away from the area pictured. The image scale is about 2 miles (3 kilometers) per pixel. The phase angle, or sun-ring-spacecraft angle, is 90 degrees.

A beautiful simulation based on Saturns rather amazing rings.

Specially designed Cassini orbits place Earth and Cassini on opposite sides of Saturn's rings, a geometry known as occultation. Cassini conducted the first radio occultation observation of Saturn's rings on May 3, 2005.

Three simultaneous radio signals of 0.94, 3.6, and 13 centimeter wavelengths (Ka-, X-, and S-bands) were sent from Cassini through the rings to Earth. The observed change of each signal as Cassini moved behind the rings provided a profile of the distribution of ring material as a function of distance from Saturn, or an optical depth profile.

This simulated image was constructed from the measured optical depth profiles. It depicts the observed ring structure at about 10 kilometers (6 miles) in resolution. Color is used to represent information about ring particle sizes in different regions based on the measured effects of the three radio signals.

Cassine, yours truly will miss you big time.