No, You Liar. You Don’t Care About Science or Clean Air and Water…

In response to the Science March yesterday, Agent Orange issued an entirely unbelievable statement as a response…

President Donald Trump declared his support for the environment and scientific research on his first Earth Day in the White House amid harsh criticisms over his actions to roll back environmental regulations and proposed cuts to non-military spending, including at the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Rigorous science is critical to my administration’s efforts to achieve the twin goals of economic growth and environmental protection,” Trump said in a statement Saturday as thousands of marchers filled the streets of downtown Washington to support science and evidence-based research — a protest partly fueled by opposition to Trump’s threats of budget cuts to agencies funding scientists’ work.

“My administration is committed to advancing scientific research that leads to a better understanding of our environment and of environmental risks,” Trump said. “As we do so, we should remember that rigorous science depends not on ideology, but on a spirit of honest inquiry and robust debate.

“This April 22nd, as we observe Earth Day, I hope that our nation can come together to give thanks for the land we all love and call home,” Trump added.

[Read more…]

Self Care – Astronomy Picture(s and Video) of the Week: Milky Way-like Galaxies in Early Universe Embedded in ‘Super Halos’

Yet another really cool Astronomy discovery, this one announced back on March 23rd

Composite ALMA and optical image of a young Milky Way-like galaxy 12 billion light-years away and a background quasar 12.5 billion light-years away. Light from the quasar passed through the galaxy's gas on its way to Earth, revealing the presence of the galaxy to astronomers. New ALMA observations of the galaxy's ionized carbon (green) and dust continuum (blue) emission show that the dusty, star-forming disk of the galaxy is vastly offset from the gas detected by quasar absorption at optical wavelengths (red). This indicates that a massive halo of gas surrounds the galaxy. The optical data are from the Keck I Telescope at the W.M. Keck Observatory. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), M. Neeleman & J. Xavier Prochaska; Keck Observatory

Composite ALMA and optical image of a young Milky Way-like galaxy 12 billion light-years away and a background quasar 12.5 billion light-years away. Light from the quasar passed through the galaxy’s gas on its way to Earth, revealing the presence of the galaxy to astronomers. New ALMA observations of the galaxy’s ionized carbon (green) and dust continuum (blue) emission show that the dusty, star-forming disk of the galaxy is vastly offset from the gas detected by quasar absorption at optical wavelengths (red). This indicates that a massive halo of gas surrounds the galaxy. The optical data are from the Keck I Telescope at the W.M. Keck Observatory. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), M. Neeleman & J. Xavier Prochaska; Keck Observatory

[Read more…]

Self Care – Astronomy Picture[s and Video] of the Week: Spacewalks

Spacewalks are honestly rather fascinating. I’ve been enjoying pics and videos of them for a long time, now.

I think everyone here already knows what a spacewalk is, but here’s the Wikipedia breakdown (of Extravehicular Activity, of which a spacewalk is the most common type), just in case…

Extravehicular activity (EVA) is any activity done by an astronaut or cosmonaut outside a spacecraft beyond the Earth’s appreciable atmosphere. The term most commonly applies to a spacewalk made outside a craft orbiting Earth (such as the International Space Station), but also has applied to lunar surface exploration (commonly known as moonwalks) performed by six pairs of American astronauts in the Apollo program from 1969 to 1972. On each of the last three of these missions, astronauts also performed deep-space EVAs on the return to Earth, to retrieve film canisters from the outside of the spacecraft. Astronauts also used EVA in 1973 to repair launch damage to Skylab, the United States’ first space station.

A “Stand-up” EVA (SEVA) is where the astronaut does not fully leave a spacecraft, but is completely reliant on the spacesuit for environmental support.[1] Its name derives from the astronaut “standing up” in the open hatch, usually to record or assist a spacewalking astronaut.

EVAs may be either tethered (the astronaut is connected to the spacecraft; oxygen and electrical power can be supplied through an umbilical cable; no propulsion is needed to return to the spacecraft), or untethered. Untethered spacewalks were only performed on three missions in 1984 using the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU), and on a flight test in 1994 of the Simplified Aid For EVA Rescue (SAFER), a safety device worn on tethered U.S. EVAs.

The Soviet Union/Russia, the United States, and China have conducted EVAs.

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Nunes Won’t Divulge His Sources

From Reuters

U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said on Tuesday he will not divulge – even to other members of his panel – who gave him intelligence reports that indicated President Donald Trump and his associates may have been ensnared in incidental intelligence collection.

Asked by an ABC News reporter whether he would inform the other committee members about who gave him the reports he viewed on the White House grounds last week, Nunes said: “We will never reveal those sources and methods.”

This is a short-ass update from Reuters, so that’s the whole thing.

Normally I’m all about protecting sources’ anonymity, but in this case it honestly feels like yet another move to cover up the fact that the whole wiretap thing is either a lie, or it was a legitimate move that would make Agent Orange look absolutely horrible.

Either way, Circus-Peanut-in-Chief will not come out of this looking good.

Internet Privacy Regulations Are Gone

From NPR

The House of Representatives has gone along with the Senate and voted 215-205 to overturn a yet-to-take-effect regulation that would have required Internet service providers — like Comcast, Verizon and Charter — to get consumers’ permission before selling their data.

President Trump is expected to sign the rollback, according to a White House statement.

The measure is a victory for the ISPs, which have argued that the regulation would put them at a disadvantage compared with so-called edge providers, like Google and Facebook. Those companies are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission and face less stringent requirements. Congress’ approval is a loss for privacy advocates, who fought for the regulation, passed in October of last year by the then-Democratic majority on the Federal Communications Commission.

[Read more…]

Climate-Hater-in-Chief

From AP News

President Donald Trump in the coming days will sign a new executive order that unravels his predecessor’s sweeping plan to curb global warming, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency said Sunday.

EPA chief Scott Pruitt said the executive order to be signed Tuesday will undo the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, an environmental regulation that restricts greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants. The 2015 rule has been on hold since last year while a federal appeals court considers a challenge by coal-friendly Republican-led states and more than 100 companies.

Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” Pruitt said Trump’s intention is to bring back coal-mining jobs and reduce the cost of electricity.

I’ve been saying this a lot, but… Agent Orange hates the earth. He wants to destroy the climate. He wants to make things worse.

I think the idea of a post-apocalyptic future where a toxic climate has destroyed most life and surviving humans live underground and have to breathe bottled oxygen, and “going outside” could mean certain death without protective gear, turns him on.