http://www.youtube.com/v/-F_thHeBDqQ?version=3&f=videos&app=youtube_gdata Visit site: Carbon dioxide levels pass ‘symbolic mark’
Cassini had to wait for almost 7 years to take a closer view of the mysterious swirling pattern on the north pole of the gas giant in favorable light conditions. Known as the hexagon, the weather pattern fits two Earths in diameter, and has been found to be housing a vortex strikingly similar to a terrestrial hurricane, NASA reports.Saturn hurricane’s eye, is however, 2,000 kilometers wide, spins four times faster than hurricane-force winds on Earth, and, as scientists believe, has been “stuck” at the planet’s pole for years.But ultimately, there’re no oceans of water on Saturn to feed the enormous storm, which has set off scientists thinking of some alternative theory how hurricanes are formed and sustained.“We did a double take when we saw this vortex because it looks so much like a hurricane on Earth,” said Andrew Ingersoll, a Cassini imaging team member at the California Institute of Technology, US.“But there it is at Saturn, on a much larger scale, and it is somehow getting by on the small amounts of water vapor in Saturn’s hydrogen atmosphere,” Ingersoll said, adding that scientists will be studying the formation to gain insight into terrestrial hurricanes.The visible-light views of the Saturnian storm have been taken by Cassini from a height of 420,000 kilometers. The images have then been false-colored by NASA to show detail, with red indicating clouds at lower altitudes, and green representing higher altitude formations.These’re first sunlit images of the planet’s northern pole since 1981 shots taken during the fly-by of Voyager 2. In order to capture the view, scientists had to change Cassini’s orbital inclination, which is being done only once every few years since the spacecraft arrived at Saturn in 2004. …
Employees from retail and food services abandoned their shifts to march in the Chicago Loop, demanding an hourly minimum of $15 and the right to unionize without intimidation.“They say we’re low-skilled workers, but we’re helping generate billions of dollars in profits,” Chris Thomas, a Nike store employee, told the Huffington Post. “We’re not trying to get rich. We just want fair pay for our hard labor.”Employees earning Chicago’s minimum wage of $8.25 per hour say they struggle to pay their bills, feed their families, or pay their rent. Many full-time workers have been forced to seek out poverty assistance, such as food stamps and rental assistance.Wednesday’s rally in downtown Chicago was an attempt to bring attention to the men and women who struggle to get by in low-paying industries. Low-wage work accounts for more than half of the country’s new jobs created since the recession, while upper-and middle class jobs have declined.Meanwhile, corporations, shareholders and executives have seen their profits rise, while wages remain the same for low-skilled workers.Although Thomas, 25, has worked for Nike for years, he only makes $10 per hour and can’t afford to move out of his parents’ home. He says the atmosphere in the Nike store he works at creates a false impression of the life Americans face in Chicago.“Tourists come into our store from all around the world, and they see this exterior: it looks so glamorous,” he said. “The management creates a relaxed atmosphere. We come to work in shorts and running shoes. But things just ain’t what they seem. It’s really hard in Chicago.”Some business were forced to close down on Wednesday, due to staff shortages as a result of the strike. Organizers of the group Action Now said strikers included employees of McDonald’s, Subway, Sears, Dunkin Donuts, Victoria’s Secret and Macy’s.The “Fight for $15” campaign played a major role in organizing the rally and encouraged attendees to demand a higher minimum wage and the right to unionize.“Fight for $15 seeks to put money back in the pockets of the 275,000 men and women who work hard in the city’s fast-food and retail outlets but still can’t afford basic necessities,” the group wrote in a press release. “If workers were paid more, they’d spend more, helping to get Chicago’s economy moving again.”Wednesday’s strike closely mirrors the strike that occurred in New York City on April 4, when about 400 restaurant workers walked off their jobs and demanded a $15 hourly minimum. New York’s minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, which is a dollar less than that in Illinois.“They don’t even appreciate the work that I do,” Chicago-based Dunkin Donuts worker Esly Hernandez told MSNBC, referring to his employers. “They don’t even say thank you. They treat you like you’re a robot.” …
The mystery as to why Jupiter’s atmosphere contains water has been solved.Astronomers claim that the water was delivered by comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, which collided with the planet in 1994.A European Space Agency mission, along with NASA, found that there was more water closer to Jupiter’s southern hemisphere where the comet struck than its northern hemisphere.The water is particularly concentrated where the comet entered the planet’s atmosphere.Water at the bottom layers of its atmosphere is easily explainable but upper level atmosphere water was not until now.Continue Reading… …
“Saturn is the first planet to show significant interaction between its atmosphere and ring system,” said James O’Donoghue, the study’s lead author in a news briefing.The study conducted by researchers from the University of Leicester with observations funded by NASA was published in this week’s issue of the journal Nature.The ring ‘rain’ influences the composition and temperature of parts of the giant gas planet’s upper atmosphere, according to the research. The astronomers used the Keck Observatory’s 10-meter telescope and its infrared spectrometer to study spectrum emissions from Saturn’s upper atmosphere, which is also called the ionosphere.Emissions of tritium – an isotope of hydrogen that can be used as a proxy for water – were discovered in a wide band across the ionosphere.The extensive planetary ring system is composed of particles made almost entirely of water ice, with a trace component of rocky material. This band extending from about 25° to 60° latitude is caused by ionized water particles showering from the rings. These particles can become charged when exposed to a flow of energetic ionized particles or solar radiation. Saturn’s magnetic field acts as a conduit, channeling these ionized particles from the rings, along the magnetic field lines and on to the ionosphere. This leaves the rings’ imprint on the ionosphere, the dark bands that can be seen using an instrument like that on Keck, which can split up a wide range of light.”This pattern implies the transfer of charged particles derived from water from the ring-plane to the ionosphere … on a global scale, flooding between 30 to 43 per cent of the surface of Saturn’s upper atmosphere,” the study says. The first to observe the rings of Saturn in 1610 was Galileo Galilei through his telescope, but was unable to identify them as rings. He thought them to be Saturn’s satellites. Christiaan Huygens in 1655 was the first person to suggest that Saturn was surrounded by a ring. In 1675, Giovanni Domenico Cassini said that Saturn’s ring was composed of multiple rings with gaps between them. In 1859 James Clerk Maxwell theorized that the rings were composed of small particles, which was proven later in 1895 through spectroscopic studies carried out by James Keeler of Allegheny Observatory. The images taken in the early 1980s by NASA’s Voyager spacecraft showed two to three dark bands on Saturn. Those bands were not seen again until astronomers observed the planet in near-infrared wavelengths with the Keck’s spectrometer. The magnetic connection between the planet and its rings has been previously suggested. Scientists surmised that water particles could ‘rain down’ from the rings, which can explain the lower-than-expected electron densities in Saturn’s atmosphere, according to the study.“The main effect of ring rain is that it acts to ‘quench’ the ionosphere of Saturn. In other words, this rain severely reduces the electron densities in regions in which it falls,” says O’Donoghue in the news briefing.The ‘rain’ may help scientists establish the origin of Saturn’s vast ring system and its formation.”We know surprisingly little about Saturn’s rings, we’re not even sure how old they are,” said astronomer Craig O’Neill from Macquarie University, ABC news reports.Though scientists cannot accurately determine the age of the rings, some features suggest relatively recent origin.Saturn’s rings should only be about 100 million years old “because they would have been disrupted and dispersed by now if they were older,” said O’Neill.However he adds that recent studies indicate they are likely to have formed early in the Solar System’s history about 4.5 billion years ago. …
Hugo Chavez died on March 5, just a few months
into his fourth term as Venezeula’s president, triggering a new
round of elections scheduled for this Saturday. Chavez’s (and
Cuba’s) hand-picked successor, Nicolas Maduro, faces Henrique
Capriles, who lost to Chavez in last year’s election by an 11 point
margin. That was the closest of Chavez’s four electoral victories.
While Maduro remains well ahead in the polls, Capriles, perhaps
says he’s going to win. At Caracas Chronicles,
Emiliana Duarte, who the blog notes has taken a leave to volunteer
for the Capriles campaign, explains
how the political atmosphere in Venezuela is changing:
First and foremost, Chávez is no longer (physically)
present. Second, the oppositions’ tone has taken a marked turn for
full-frontal, unabashed attacks on the personal and administrative
fronts of the incumbent. Third, and consequently, the government’s
candidate is himself a target for attacks, something we haven’t
seen in a while.
…The fact of the matter is, a new breeze is flowing through
Venezuela with regards to outward expressions of support or
dissent; expressions that might seem trivial at first glance, but
that taken in context reveal great significance.
Gone are the days, for example, when the MUD [Capriles’ electoral
coalition] stifled its criticism of shady CNE [national elections
commission] goings-on for fear that public outcries of foul play
could dissuade voters from turning out on election day…
Vanished, also, are the feeble, impersonal reproaches that have in
the past characterized Capriles’ discrepancies with the status quo.
Capriles has done a complete 180-in-message. One that took us from
“The President did some things well, but I will make them better,”
to “Nicolás is inept, corrupt, deceiving, and driving our county to
ruin.” (I paraphrase)
If that wasn’t enough change, there’s also the
unprecedented ease with which the opposition now publicly ridicules
the government candidate. This new license to mock renders anything
fair game: Maduro’s companion Cilia Flores, the
President-in-Charge’s paranormal conversations with fowl-from
yonder, not-so-subtle allusions to his weight and his work ethic
(I’m not an objective observer, but, damn, ;the guy kind of makes
it hard to inspire respect).
Though taken at face value, these attacks are certainly puerile,
frivolous, and thus speak to the low depths to which political
discourses sometimes fall to, they represent a welcome, even
refreshing, change in free-speech dynamics.
Some background on Maduro’s conversation with a bird: he said
came to him in the form of one to bless his campaign. Maduro
likened his opponents to contemporary Hitlers and just this
said he put a hex on any Venezuelan who didn’t vote for him.
You know what they say, if you don’t have a record to run on, you
make a big election about small things. …
“Cheer up, the worst is yet to come.” -Philander Chase Johnson An awful lot is written about markets, fear and greed. Realistically, greed is just the phobia of not making enough profit: so fear rules markets.Meanwhile commerce can only flourish in an atmosphere of trust. Dysfunctional economies are bereft of trust. Governments develop laws to nurture confidence. The theory is that small transactional impediments will lead to so much trust that overall net prosperity is greater. Without property laws and basic rights, commerce cannot flourish.Confidence remains a rather intangible item. Measuring trust is rather a black art. We can never be absolutely certain we have 100% trust but we can all recall the day, the precise moment even, when an unreliable associate finally lost our confidence.Indeed, we may lose trust in something but do not act immediately – why face off against a thoroughly unprincipled individual, it usually is not worth the hassle. Much easier to just avoid their presence or fail to invite them to dinner. Why bother arguing with a liar?In essence economic action is somewhat similar. In this respect, trust in the system is essential for economic growth. Without faith in government or law, entrepreneurs are crushed and economic dynamism is extinct. Nevertheless, the tipping point may be very distinct from the moment when finally the system collapses. People brood and consider their options but once their decisions are made, turning back is all the more difficult.If we look at the world today, trust is a rather rare, and some might argue, endangered, commodity. Geographically diverse nations such as Australia and Russia are enjoying splendid prosperous booms. Singapore understands in every conduit of its governmental DNA that their economy lives or dies by the standards it sets to attract and nurture business.Meanwhile, in Europe the Euro has been saved and confidence is returning. We know this because every few months ministers have a lavish late night dinner before pronouncing en masse that the world is a better place and the single currency goes from strength to strength. It’s about as convincing as that last chorus in Mozart operas where the cast extols their redemption despite having been perfectly beastly throughout the actual plot.The truth is that as confidence has drained from the EU, now trust too is evaporating. The recent acts – whether enacted or not – in Cyprus has delivered a hammer blow to the credibility of Brussels as a trustworthy steward of anybody’s finances. Beneath a thin tissue of brazen statements of confidence there lie festering sores of economic mismanagement going septic as a result of previous poultices and treatments which are more voodoo than economics.Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch Finance Minister has poured fuel on the flames of discord by noting that ‘bailing in’ depositors would henceforth be a Eurozone tenet for rescues. In other words totalitarian appropriation is now a Brussels policy. If ‘totalitarian appropriation’ is too big a word for this time of the day, dear reader, just spell it t-h-e-f-t. That’s close enough.When trust evaporates it may not be immediately obvious but in the longer term you end up with a nation such as Argentina. The wonderful antiques markets of Buenos Aires burgeon with luxury hand-crafted items to remind us of how this great nation looked back in the day when commercial activities could trust the state. Nowadays, trust has evaporated with a government keener on agitprop and protectionism to try to maintain vested interests instead of growing prosperity. The EU may not be Argentina yet but for those wondering what the template is for the Eurozone’s future, it’s good food, great wine, interesting tourism and little hope of a job beyond waggling an umbrella in the air leading wealthy Chinese tourist groups.The kleptocratic intentions of the EU will not go unnoticed and a confidence crisis will result both within and beyond the two-tier Eurozone. Meanwhile Spain has a weak government, Italy has no government and the French have something that is more like a group of middle-aged student idealists squatting in the Elysee palace until a leader comes along.Ultimately trust is the glue which binds together trade and prosperity.Patrick L YoungPatrick L Young is an active investor and entrepreneur in the New Europe as well as an expert and advisor in financial markets. www.patricklyoung.net …