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Monthly Archive: August 2011

Aug 29 2011

Michelle Bachmann can hear God, why can’t you?

Michelle Bachmann can hear God so clearly in her head, she wonders why everyone else isn’t listening: “I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?’ Listen to the …

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Aug 29 2011

The Gospel of Rick Perry

I’m so conflicted. He’s such a ridiculous character by the standards of the oval office it’s hard not to have fun with him. And of course one never knows how much of Rick Perry’s rhetoric to take seriously and what is mere political stagecraft. Maybe he’s not an arrogant, ignorant clown who got lucky. But …

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Aug 29 2011

States assessing damage after Irene

After the storm, a dog swims through flood waters along the FDR Drive in Manhattan's East River Park in New York City. Photo by David Shankbone

  Irene has wound down to a disorganized rain blob leaving behind sections of New England in much better shape than she could have. The storm has passed, and nothing left to do but clean up. The LA Times has a nice photo collectionof storm damage and had this to say: The main New York …

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Aug 29 2011

Loaded dice and loaded guns

Who you gonna believe, those silly NASA scientists and your lying eyes, or  the divine Rick Perry?

Last Saturday I had the chance to visit with Dr Jeff Masters of the superb WeatherUnderground on the Daily Kos radio show (If you’ve never read Jeff’s harrowing account of flying into category 5 Hurricane Hugo and suffering an engine fire, almost forcing a crash water landing inside the eye, check it out). Hosts Armando …

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Aug 28 2011

James Webb obit?

The James Webb Space Telescope. Click image for NASA homepage

I don’t see how this thing survives the budget-and-throat cutting mania that has conveniently gripped the political and traditional media class ever since a democrat came into power. And for that I’m conflicted: “NASA has completed a JWST replan that assumes a revised life-cycle-cost of about $8.7 billion and a launch readiness date of October 2018,” agency …

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Aug 27 2011

Hurricane Irene update

Hurricane Irene track from the National Hurricane Center's 5 PM EDT update. Click image for latest

The National Hurricane Center indicates Hurricane Irene is passing the eastern North Carolina and Virginia border and heading back out to sea as a solid Category 1 storm. She has reportedly claimed at least four lives. Delaware, eastern Maryland, and the New Jersey shoreline are now or will soon be feeling the maximum effects of …

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Aug 27 2011

Hurricane Irene update

Via the National Hurricane Center Hurricane Irene is near landfall at North Carolina’s outer banks as a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph. Some regions along the east coast will see moderate wind damage. But for now, Irene’s greatest danger to life and proprtery is flooding. Because the system is so …

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Aug 26 2011

Supernova sighted in Pinwheel galaxy

Iron core collapse

Via the Bad Astronomer we get word a supernova has erupted in the nearby spiral galaxy M101, better know to stargazers as the Pinwheel galaxy. Astrophysicists classify it as a Type 1a supernova, the kind that can occur when a big streamer of hydrogen is deposited on the surface of white dwarf, usually by a helpful companion star …

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Aug 26 2011

Hurricane Irene update

Hurricane Irene as of 8 AM EDT via the NHC. Click image for latest forecast

Via the National Hurricane Center, Irene is still tracking toward the outer banks of North Carolina and will likely affect eastern parts of the DC metro region, from Norfolk thru Baltimore. Depending on the precise track, the storm may remain over open water allowing it to remain a powerful tropical cyclone all the way to …

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Aug 25 2011

Astronomers discover possible diamond planet

A hypothetical water world with a global ocean hundreds of miles deep. Image courtesy of the Wiki

Astronomers have found many exotic exo-planet since the first Hot Jupiter was inferred in 1995 roasting in a tight orbit around the very sun-like star 51 Pegasus. Since then speculation and some preliminary indication of water worlds, methane planets, gas dwarfs and super earths has become regular fare. Another possible composition dreamed up by planetary …

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