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Old 18-03-2019, 12:13   #106
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Re: In The News

Earliest known Mariner’s Astrolabe
Guinness World Records have independently certified an astrolabe excavated from the wreck site of a Portuguese Armada Ship that was part of Vasco da Gama's second voyage to India in 1502-1503 as the oldest in the world, and have separately certified a ship's bell (dated 1498) recovered from the same wreck site also as the oldest in the world.
It has been named the Sodré astrolabe, after the commander of the ship in which it was found: Vicente Sodré was the maternal uncle of Vasco da Gama, and died when his ship, the Esmeralda, wrecked on the remote Omani Island of Al Hallaniyah in 1503
https://warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/...known_mariners

The scientific process of verifying the disc as an astrolabe by laser imaging is described in a paper published today by Mearns and Jason Warnett and Mark Williams of WMG at the University of Warwick in The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology.
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/...095-9270.12353
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Old 20-03-2019, 03:20   #107
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Re: In The News

Solar Proton Event
Scientists have found evidence of a major solar storm that hit Earth more than 2,600 years ago. The intense eruption, known as a solar proton event (SPE), struck our planet around 660 BC, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences*. Such events have been detected twice before, with the first occurring sometime between AD 774 and 775, and the other slightly weaker one happening between AD 993 and 994.
More ➥ https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/s...torm-1.5058330

“Multiradionuclide evidence for an extreme solar proton event around 2,610 B.P. (∼660 BC)” ~ by Paschal O’Hare et al.
* ➥ https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/ea...25116.full.pdf
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Old 20-03-2019, 05:24   #108
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Re: In The News

So now we know that the "chicken" came first, and not the egg.

In a first, fossil bird found with unlaid egg
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Old 20-03-2019, 06:24   #109
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Re: In The News

The Northern Vernal Equinox 2019 will be at 21:58 UTC, on March 20 (5:58 p.m. ET), roughly coinciding with a supermoon, roughly 4 hours later.
Astronomers Without Borders will be showcasing the super worm moon rising above Rome, Italy, starting at 12:45 p.m. ET (16:45 UT) on March 20 via the Virtual Telescope Project.
Live Webcast ➥ https://www.virtualtelescope.eu/2019...n-20-mar-2019/
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Old 20-03-2019, 06:39   #110
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Re: In The News

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailOar View Post
So now we know that the "chicken" came first, and not the egg.
In a first, fossil bird found with unlaid egg
Maybe not.
Two birds, that weren't really chickens (they were proto-chickens), created an egg, and a mutation accidentally made the baby different from its parents, hatching a chicken; and hence, we have an answer: The egg came first, and then it mutated, hatching a chicken.
But, maybe the question we should be asking is: Which came first, the proto-chicken, or the proto-chicken egg?
Of course, a circle has no beginning, and no end.
https://www.science.org.au/curious/e...chicken-or-egg
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Old 20-03-2019, 06:43   #111
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Re: In The News

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The Northern Vernal Equinox 2019 will be at 21:58 UTC, on March 20 (5:58 p.m. ET), roughly coinciding with a supermoon, roughly 4 hours later.
Quote:
In 325CE the Council of Nicaea established that Easter would be held on the first Sunday after the first Full Moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox.
So then why isn't Easter this coming Sunday (March 24) this year, instead of April 21?

Read the answer here.
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Old 20-03-2019, 19:04   #112
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Re: In The News

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Solar Proton Event
Scientists have found evidence of a major solar storm that hit Earth more than 2,600 years ago. The intense eruption, known as a solar proton event (SPE), struck our planet around 660 BC, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences*.
Some news from a few months ago.

https://earthsky.org/human-world/why-sunspot-solar-observatory-nm-closed-fbi

"Everyone loves a good mystery, and there is a very curious one happening in New Mexico right now. On Thursday, September 6, the Sunspot Solar Observatory in Sunspot, New Mexico, as well as a nearby United States Postal Service Office (USPS), was suddenly closed down and evacuated. This was reported to be for “security reasons”...
--
Apparently some bad guy was suspected of using the observatory's wifi for illicit pornography reasons. Mystery solved (unless you try to find his name).

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018...ous-evacuation

"Liz Davis, a public information officer at the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, which handles law enforcement for the USPS, confirms there is “no criminal activity, which is what Postal Inspection Service would be dealing with."

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Old 22-03-2019, 09:40   #113
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Re: In The News

World Water Day - March 22, 2019

U. N. Sustainable Development Goal 6 is crystal clear: water for all by 2030. By definition, this means leaving no one behind. But today, billions of people are still living without safe water – their households, schools, workplaces, farms and factories struggling to survive and thrive.
Marginalized groups – women, children, refugees, indigenous peoples, disabled people and many others – are often overlooked, and sometimes face discrimination, as they try to access and manage the safe water they need.
This World Water Day, 22nd March, is about tackling the water crisis by addressing the reasons why so many people are being left behind.

https://www.worldwaterday.org/wp-con..._29Jan2019.pdf

https://en.unesco.org/commemorations/waterday

The Sustainable Development Agendahttps://www.un.org/sustainabledevelo...opment-agenda/
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Old 23-03-2019, 03:56   #114
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Re: In The News

Northern Lights Tonight?
A spot on the sun released an explosion, that is on its way to Earth, and could give us a good chance of catching the northern lights on Saturday.
The sun has certainly been quiet lately: in February it went an entire month without even a single sunspot. However, on March 17, a tiny, dark spot appeared on the sun's surface. A few days later, another sunspot appeared that eventually produced a solar flare. As is quite common, the flare was followed by a coronal mass ejection (CME). Solar flares are measured on a scale of intensity: C-class, M-class, and the most powerful, X-class. The flare that erupted from the sunspot was a C-class flare, so not particularly intense. However, the following CME seems Earth-directed and ready to impact us sometimes on March 23.
NASA's Space Weather Prediction Center has issued a G2 geomagnetic storm watch. The scale goes from G1 to G5, the strongest. A G2 is considered moderate, but it also means the storm could produce northern lights visible as far south as the northern United States.
https://www.swpc.noaa.gov/
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Old 27-03-2019, 04:04   #115
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Re: In The News

One of the world's fastest-shrinking glaciers is growing again, study finds
... The Jakobshavn glacier around 2012 was retreating about three kilometres and thinning nearly 40 metres annually. But it started growing again at about the same rate in the past two years, according to a study in Monday's Nature Geoscience. Study authors and outside scientists think this is temporary...
... A natural cyclical cooling of North Atlantic waters likely caused the glacier to reverse course, said study lead author Ala Khazendar, a NASA glaciologist on the Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) project. Khazendar and colleagues say this coincides with a flip of the North Atlantic Oscillation — a natural and temporary cooling and warming of parts of the ocean that is like a distant cousin to El Niño in the Pacific...
... The water in Disko Bay, where Jakobshavn hits the ocean, is about 2 C cooler than a few years ago, study authors said.
While this is "good news", on a temporary basis, this is bad news on the long term, because it tells scientists that ocean temperature is a bigger player in glacier retreats and advances than previously thought, said NASA climate scientist Josh Willis, a study co-author. Over the decades, the water has been and will be warming from man-made climate change, he said, noting about 90 per cent of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases goes into the oceans.
"In the long run, we'll probably have to raise our predictions of sea level rise again," Willis said ...
https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/g...cier-1.5071628

“Interruption of two decades of Jakobshavn Isbrae acceleration and thinning as regional ocean cools” ~ by Ala Khazendar et al.
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-019-0329-3

A different study, published in Nature last year, also found that Greenlandic ice as a whole, is perilously sensitive to warming temperatures.
“Nonlinear rise in Greenland runoff in response to post-industrial Arctic warming” ~ by Luke D. Trusel et al.
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0752-4
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Old 27-03-2019, 05:30   #116
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Re: In The News

Major Walter Summerford had a slight problem with lightning during his … quite striking life.
After the Third Battle Of Ypres (WWI) and before the German spring offensive, Major Summerford was hit with his first bolt of lightning. It catapulted him off his steed and ended up paralyzing him from the waist down. This effectively ended his military career.
By 1924, the retired British Army Major had moved and was comfortably living in Canada. As it turns out though, Mr. Summerford loved fishing. Well one day while shore fishing a local river, another lightning bolt smacked the tree he was relaxing under. This resulted in paralysis throughout his right side.
By 1930, Summerford had recovered from his second accident, up to the point where he was able to take walks. This did not bode well for him. While taking an innocent stroll to the park a lightning bolt impacted him directly, completely paralyzing him. This seemingly finished the job, as Walter died from complications two years later in 1932.
Mother Nature wasn’t done yet though…
During a bad Spring storm, the skies muddied once again, this time it would truly defy all odds.
The deafening roars of thunder boomed throughout the night sky. Lightning began to pound the ground below, eventually slamming into a cemetery. Turns out it broke a tombstone, but not just anyone’s tombstone. It was none other than Major Walter Summerford’s.
This man survived all the artillery, mustard gas, bullets, and bayonets he was likely to be maimed or killed by, only to be slapped four times. He was not only backhanded by the very land he was fighting for, but another three times by Mother Nature herself.
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Old 27-03-2019, 07:38   #117
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Thanks Gord for posting some details.

A couple more that I find particularly onerous, one because my primary residence is in Florida where the sugar growers benefit from huge government subsidies and market protection. Not only does this result in US sugar prices being double that of the rest of the world, the program is also subsidizing an industry that is the largest contributor of pollution to the Everglades. The same concerns apply to cane and beet sugar producers in other states.

Periodically Florida voters try to reign in the sugar industry but each effort is met with an onslaught of ads bemoaning the attack on family farms and another round of campaign contributions to FL politicians (which to be fair is distributed on both sides of the aisle). The reality is the FL sugar industry is controlled by five, mega-wealthy families that are in reality agro industry. The final kick in the teeth, the majority of the labor on the sugar farms are imported from the Caribbean so very few jobs are generated for the locals. Probably moot anyway since cutting cane is a really nasty, backbreaking job that few Americans would or even could do.

Another relates to your info about corn derivatives. In addition to subsidies for the food derivatives the US mandates ethanol be added to road fuel.
The ethanol comes from corn which increases corn prices, takes corn out of the food chain, and is grossly inefficient. Depending on how one calculates the process it takes as much as 5-7 gallons of other fuel to produce 8 gallons of fuel grade ethanol. Further, the cost of corn based ethanol is quite high so in addition to other subsidies the US government gives over fifty cents per gallon subsidy to fuel ethanol producers. On top of everything else, what ethanol does to engines, especially small engines like outboards, chainsaws, etc is a huge pain.
“depending how one calculates the process” LOL I’m guessing you don’t really understand how ethanol is made. Corn contains alot of starch, (corn starch). While there is a need for corn for a variaty of uses there is an abundance of starch. The starch is what is used to make alcohol /ethanol. The other parts are not used and are separated and used for other products. The alcohol is made from a product that already exists and has little value. Subsidies were a part of getting ethanol production to a point of sustainability much like subsidies for oil, solar and wind generation. What isn’t subsidized? Whats not to like about good old crude oil.

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Old 27-03-2019, 09:40   #118
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Re: In The News

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... Corn contains alot of starch, (corn starch). While there is a need for corn for a variaty of uses there is an abundance of starch. The starch is what is used to make alcohol /ethanol. The other parts are not used and are separated and used for other products...
The vast majority (≈80%) of corn ethanol in the United States is produced by dry milling. In the dry milling process, the entire corn kernel is ground into flour, or "mash," which is then slurried by adding water.
https://afdc.energy.gov/fuels/ethanol_production.html
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Old 27-03-2019, 11:55   #119
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Re: In The News

The inefficiency is not just a result of milling but the energy require to grow, harvest, transport, ferment and distill.
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Old 27-03-2019, 14:26   #120
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Re: In The News

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The inefficiency is not just a result of milling but the energy require to grow, harvest, transport, ferment and distill.
Indeed.
The largest share of emissions coming from ethanol production is not burning coal or natural gas to power the plant, by the fermenting grain itself.
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