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Monday, July 27, 2015
NASA's Three-Billion-Mile Journey to Pluto Reaches it's Historic Encounter
After a decade-long journey through our solar system, NASA's New Horizons has made its approach to Pluto.
New Horizons is showing us it's approach to Pluto, and Pluto's surface, along with it's moon Charon.
Flowing ice and a surprising extended haze are among the newest discoveries from NASA's New Horizons mission, which reveal distant Pluto to be an icy world of wonders.
The hazes detected are a key element in creating the complex hydrocarbon compounds that give Pluto’s surface its reddish hue.
Models suggest the hazes form when ultraviolet sunlight breaks up methane gas particles, a simple hydrocarbon in Pluto's atmosphere. The breakdown of methane triggers the buildup of more complex hydrocarbon gases. As these hydrocarbons fall to the lower, colder parts of the atmosphere, they condense into ice particles that create the hazes.
The new images show fascinating details within the Texas-sized plain, informally named Sputnik Planum, which lies within the western half of Pluto's heart-shaped feature, known as Tombaugh Regio. There, a sheet of ice clearly appears to have flowed,and may still be flowing,in a manner similar to glaciers on Earth.
New compositional data from New Horizons’ Ralph instrument indicate the center of Sputnik Planum is rich in nitrogen, carbon monoxide, and methane ices.
Surface temperatures can reach as low as 33 K
(-240 °C or -400 °F).
Not only does water freeze solid at these temperatures, but other liquids and gases that are present on Pluto’s surface – such as methane (CH4), nitrogen gas
(N²), and carbon monoxide (CO) – also freeze solid.
While Pluto has a thin atmosphere, it consists mainly of nitrogen gas, methane and carbon monoxide, which exist in equilibrium with their ices on the surface.
Friday, July 24, 2015
New Gun Laws Proposed for the United States
The single biggest gap in the United States gun laws is the lack of a background check requirement when a gun is sold by an unlicensed individual. Unlike licensed gun dealers, unlicensed “private” sellers are not required to conduct background checks on gun purchasers.
Buyers that purchase firearms through private sales in the U.S. don't have to pass a background check before obtaining possession of the weapon. This includes sales to criminals, felons, and people with a history of severe mental illness.
As of December 2014, 18 states have extended a background check requirement to at least some unlicensed gun sales.
Here are some common sense approaches that would be a very good start in changing Gun Laws In the United States.
* End all open carry laws and outlaw all semi-automatic weapons.
* A universal background check.
* Complete reporting of all people prohibited from possessing firearms because of mental illness under federal law.
* Authorizing law enforcement officers to remove dangerous people’s access to guns, under court or administrative agency oversight.
* Requiring schools, including colleges and universities, to report people identified as violent or suicidal to a court or administrative agency charged with reviewing these reports.
* Allowing courts to issue “gun violence restraining orders” when concerned community members bring dangerous or suicidal people to their attention; and, Temporarily prohibiting people involuntarily hospitalized for mental illness.
* No Guns for those convicted of domestic-violence misdemeanors
* A 10-round magazine maximum.
Of all the pro-gun arguments used most often, the weakest is the constitutional one. said Chief Justice Warren Burger, a conservative appointed by Richard Nixon. When speaking of the misuse of the Second Amendment to support private gun ownership, Justice Burger said:
(The Second Amendment) "has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word 'fraud,' on the American public by special interest groups I have ever seen in my lifetime.
In the article:Gun use in the United States: results from two national surveys Concluded:
Guns are used to threaten and intimidate far more often than they are used in self defense. Most self reported self defense gun uses may well be illegal and against the interests of society.
Sunday, July 19, 2015
This is what we know about guns in the United States. You may or may not like the data, but you cannot dispute the data, because facts are just that, facts. Facts are not emotional, and facts don't take sides. Let's get started.
We know American gun ownership by far surpasses gun ownership in other countries. “With less than 5 percent of the world’s population, the United States is home to 35-50 percent of the world’s civilian-owned guns,” according to the Small Arms Survey.
Approximately 20% of gun owners own 65% of the guns. The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms reports that about 5.5 million new firearms were manufactured in America in 2010. 95% of these were for the U.S. market.
While the number of firearm homicides dropped dramatically over a 20-year period ending in 2011, the percentage of violent crimes involving firearms has stayed fairly constant, according to the 2013 survey.
In 2015 gun deaths are expected to surpass car deaths in the United States. That's according to a Center for American Progress report, which cites CDC data that shows guns will kill more Americans under 25 than cars in 2015. Already more than a quarter of the U.S. teenagers, 15 years old and up, who die of injuries in the United States are killed in gun-related incidents, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Every day in the U.S., an average of 289 people are shot. Eighty-six of them die: 30 are murdered, 53 kill themselves, two die accidentally, and one is shot in a police intervention, the Brady Campaign reports.
Guns and kids:
82 children under five years old died from firearms in 2010 compared with 58 law enforcement officers killed by firearms in the line of duty (sources: CDF, CDC, FBI) More kids ages 0-19 died from firearms every three days in 2010 than died in the 2012 Newtown, Conn., massacre (source:CDF,CDC) Nearly three times more kids (15,576) were injured by firearms in 2010 than the number of U.S. soldiers (5,247) wounded in action that year in the war in Afghanistan (source: CDF, CDC, Department of Defense) Half of all juveniles murdered in 2010 were killed with a firearm (source: Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention)
Shooting sprees are not rare in the United States.
Mother Jones has tracked and mapped every shooting spree in the last three decades. "From 1982 through 2012, there have been at least 61 mass murders carried out with firearms across the country, with the killings unfolding in 30 states from Massachusetts to Hawaii," they found. And in most cases, the killers had obtained their weapons legally. 15 of the 25 worst mass shootings in the last 50 years took place in the United States.
Harvard University researchers say U.S. mass shootings have surged in recent years, contradicting earlier studies.
The Harvard researchers said the rate of mass shootings has increased threefold since 2011, occurring on average every 64 days, compared with an average of every 200 days in the years from 1982 to 2011.
The researchers used a database created by Mother Jones to look at mass shootings, which they defined as attacks that "took place in public, in which the shooter and the victims generally were unrelated and unknown to each other, and in which the shooter murdered four or more people."
Gun Violence in the Home
Claims that guns are used defensively millions times every year have been widely discredited. Using a gun in self-defense is no more likely to reduce the chance of being injured during a crime than various other forms of protective action.
Guns kept in the home are more likely to be involved in a fatal or nonfatal unintentional shooting, criminal assault or suicide attempt than to be used to injure or kill in self-defense. That is, a gun is more likely to be used to kill or injure an innocent person in the home than a threatening intruder.
Though guns may be successfully used in self-defense even when they are not fired, the evidence shows that their presence in the home makes a person more vulnerable, not less. Instead of keeping owners safer from harm, objective studies confirm that firearms in the home place owners and their families at greater risk. Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that living in a home where guns are kept increased an individual’s risk of death by homicide by between 40 and 170%. Another study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology similarly found that “persons with guns in the home were at greater risk of dying from a homicide in the home than those without guns in the home.” This study determined that the presence of guns in the home increased an individual’s risk of death by homicide by 90%
The following report which used data from 2012, the most recent year for which national data is available. In that year, 1,706 females were murdered by males in single-victim/single-offender incidents. That's 33 victims every week and more than four every day.
Just as in previous years, it was found the most common weapon men use to murder women is a gun. For homicides in which the murder weapon could be identified, 52 percent of victims were shot and killed with a gun. The most common firearm was a handgun, used in 69 percent of the homicides committed with guns.
States with stricter gun control laws have fewer deaths from gun-related violence.
In 2011 economist Richard Florida studied the correlations between gun deaths and other kinds of social indicators. Some of what he found was, perhaps, unexpected: Higher populations, more stress, more immigrants, and more mental illness were not correlated with more deaths from gun violence. But one thing he found was, perhaps, perfectly predictable: States with tighter gun control laws appear to have fewer gun-related deaths.
Thursday, July 16, 2015
Friday, July 3, 2015
Make no mistake about it. The first and foremost reason that I don't like this Anti Vaccine rant by Jim Carrey is that I really hate it when entertainers get political...on anything. I hate it even more when those entertainers are comedians. It just makes them instantly unfunny to me for ever more.
In his own words:
Jim Carrey ?@JimCarrey Jun 30
California Gov says yes to poisoning more children with mercury and aluminum in manditory vaccines. This corporate fascist must be stopped.
Jim Carrey ?@JimCarrey Jun 30
They say mercury in fish is dangerous but forcing all of our children to be injected with mercury in thimerosol is no risk. Make sense?
Jim Carrey ?@JimCarrey Jun 30
I am not anti-vaccine. I am anti-thimerosal, anti-mercury. They have taken some of the mercury laden thimerosal out of vaccines. NOT ALL!
Jim Carrey ?@JimCarrey Jun 30
The CDC can't solve a problem they helped start. It's too risky to admit they have been wrong about mercury/thimerasol. They are corrupt.
Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. said that Mr. Carrey’s insistence on making an issue out of a non-issue, like the "supposed" dangers of the preservative thimerosal actually is an anti-vaccine position, Offit explained. By Offit's count, there are several high-quality studies that show thimerosal in vaccines does not cause autism or developmental delays in the children who receive them.
Methylmercury and the ethylmercury used to preserve vaccines are two very different things, said Offit. For one, everyone is exposed to methylmercury. It builds up in the body over a lifetime of exposure, and too much of it can cause nervous damage and permanent disability. Ethylmercury, on the other hand, is a byproduct the human body makes when processing thimerosal. It does not remain in the body for long amounts of time.
In short, and to agree with Dr. Offit: Jim Carrey is not a doctor, he is not a scientist, he is an actor. Personally I believe that he is an actor using his prestiguese to wrongly influence people, and that is dangerous.