Things have been pretty hectic for me during the past couple of weeks, and will continue in that vein for at least another three weeks; but, that isn't the reason I've fallen behind in visiting Slashdot.org. They are Beta testing a new display that I despise! It is all cutesy-wootsy, but few postings are entirely displayed. One must hit a "more" button to see the whole thing. This is a waste of my time and interest. Fortunately, just now the display that I pulled up was the older version - compact and easily read without hassle. So...I'll catch you up on a few items that they've posted within the past week or two.
While on the subject of fracking, below is another posting on the subject - from the same source. (Full disclosure: I have a few shares of Chevron that comprise less than 1% of my holdings. It allows me to get the company reports and, for all the good it does, vote against some of the board members.)
(I was interested to read about Dunkard Township because some of my father's ancesters were born and died there.)
Here in the US of A, many cities/towns have an organization called "Crime Stoppers", affiliated with a national organization of the same name. Here in Derby KS, we have such an organization - about which, although Hunky Husband is a "member", I know almost nothing. I know that, annually, there is a fund raiser. I know that there is an anonymous (telephone) tip line to which one may call in information about activities/crimes they have observed, and they sometimes offer a small reward for information on a particular crime.
I don't belong to the Derby Ks Crime Stoppers (BTW: there is a Crime Stoppers organization in the UK which came up on Google when I looked for Derby - which Google always interprets as being in the UK unless I tell it differently) and have never supported them in any way other than to lend them Hunky Husband and to give them moral support. Today, I'm asking for your help in solving a crime that is too large for the Derby KS Crime Stoppers: Pollution of the earth with carbon-14!
Please call in any tips that you may have to your local Crime Stoppers organization. Your identity will be protected. Citizens of the world: We must help our under-funded astronomers put the arm on the culprit!
BTW: The original Crime Stoppers organization was formed in Albuquerque, New Mexico, just seven years before I moved to that city. It's web site declares, "There are now more than 1,100 Crime Stoppers programs throughout the world, in 16 countries. And it all started HERE in Albuquerque. And, in addition to the original program, Campus Crime Stoppers is now in dozens of local schools, providing a safe environment for our K-12 students to learn and grow."
Stu reminds me:
Just FYI : There was a historically recorded comet collision with the Earth's atmosphere on 17 January AD 773.
It appears that the Slashdot.Com posting was not completely aware - and that I failed to exercise due diligence before re-posting. At NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) I find Mysterious abrupt carbon-14 increase in coral contributed by a comet abstracted, starting with the following paragraph.
A large and sudden increase in radiocarbon (14C) around AD 773 are documented in coral skeletons from the South China Sea. The 14C increased by ~ 15‰ during winter, and remain elevated for more than 4 months, then increased and dropped down within two months, forming a spike of 45‰ high in late spring, followed by two smaller spikes. The 14C anomalies coincide with an historic comet collision with the Earth's atmosphere on 17 January AD 773. Comas are known to have percent-levels of nitrogen by weight, and are exposed to cosmic radiation in space. Hence they may be expected to contain highly elevated 14C/12C ratios, as compared to the Earth's atmosphere. The significant input of 14C by comets may have contributed to the fluctuation of 14C in the atmosphere throughout the Earth's history, which should be considered carefully to better constrain the cosmic ray fluctuation.
On Jan 30, 2014, beginning at 8:31 a.m EST, the moon moved between NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, and the sun, giving the observatory a view of a partial solar eclipse from space. Such a lunar transit happens two to three times each year. This one lasted two and one half hours, which is the longest ever recorded. When the next one will occur is as of yet unknown due to planned adjustments in SDO's orbit.
Note in the picture how crisp the horizon is on the moon, a reflection of the fact that the moon has no atmosphere around it to distort the light from the sun.
I'm including the next photo because I like the pretty colors.
To wrap up the posting, here's the video:
Current SCWO [Supercritical Water Oxidation - CC] Applications
A number of SCWO systems have been or are being built and delivered to customers. A system to treat pink and red water from TNT [trinitrotoluene - CC] operations was provided to DAC [US Army Defense Ammunition Center - CC] for a facility in Korea (Korea System). A system to treat hazardous wastes and sewage sludge was provided to partner commercial companies in Japan for evaluation in the Japanese hazardous waste destruction market. (Japan System). The Bluegrass chemical munition demilitarization plant will use SCWO systems to destroy hydrolysate from chemical agent and energetics neutralization operations (BGCAPP System). A simplified SCWO system utilizing over 20 years of development experience is being supplied to Tooele Army Depot (TEAD System) for destruction of energetics hydrolysate from the CAD demilitarization plant. The Bluegrass Army Depot will use SCWO to destroy hydrolysate from the hydrolysis of excess explosives and propellants (BGAD System). A SCWO system is planned for waste treatment in a facility in Alaska (Alaska System).
That paragraph is an obvious plug for General Atomics and its Affiliated Companies; but, I find it very informative! Going further, below is embedded the video ad that I found so well done and so fascinating.
While I'm at it, I'll post a second (longer - about 9 minutes) informative ad that was found at the same place.
As I said, it takes little to entertain me!
Slashdot.org has daily injections of items of interest to geeks - and non-geeks (AKA "normal people") for many of the items. Here are a couple of the latest items that I found particularly interesting this morning. Enjoy or not - your choice!
That last sentence gets my attention. A "very well-controlled beam" is mostly under the control of the driver, depending upon how s/he maintains the vehicle. I get sick, sick, sick of having vehicles follow me with wildly misaligned headlamps. (Part of the issue is the prevalence of hi-jacked pickup trucks in my neck of the woods!) I am prone to slowing (or changing lanes) to force them to pass me - which - isn't exactly how I wish to drive. However, being blinded by following headlamps isn't good, either. Unfortunately, my latest car has an "auto-dim" rear-view mirror which doesn't dim enough when it does measure the triggering intensity of light.
I infer that Xtreme English is bored with the banter on mathematics and I take the cue to move foreward. Thanks, XE, for saving us from ourselves!
In my professional years, no matter the system under discussion or development, one of our large concerns was to design in "graceful" failure modes. In some military systems, this meant designing such that loss of automated capabilities left feasible, manual work-arounds in place. In aircraft structures, it meant assuring that failures (tiny cracks) in critical structure could/should be detected before the failure became unstable and grew to catastrophic proportions. Thus, I was pleased to see the following item posted by Slashdot.org.
Lest someone believe that the software system for USA's affordable healthcare law exchange implementation is the only game in town, Hunky Husband guided me to this article (excerpt, below). He and I have recently been discussing how few people understand the difficulties of getting complicated systems to work and the length of time that is required for appropriate testing.
WASHINGTON (AP) — After a decade of work and billions of dollars spent, the
modernization of the U.S. air traffic control system is in trouble. The
ambitious and complex technology program dubbed NextGen has encountered
unforeseen difficulties at almost every turn.
The program was promoted as a way to accommodate an anticipated surge in air
travel, reduce fuel consumption and improve safety and efficiency. By shifting
from radar-based navigation and radio communications — technologies rooted in
the first half of the 20th century — to satellite-based navigation and digital
communications, it would handle three times as many planes by 2025, the Federal
Aviation Administration promised.
Planes would fly directly to their destinations using GPS technology instead of following indirect routes to stay within the range of ground stations. They would continually broadcast their exact positions, not only to air traffic controllers, but to other similarly equipped aircraft. For the first time, pilots would be able to see on cockpit displays where they were in relation to other planes. That would enable planes to safely fly closer together, and even shift some of the responsibility for maintaining a safe separation of planes from controllers to pilots. [That statement may be misleading to non-pilots! CC]
But almost nothing has happened as FAA officials anticipated.
Increasing capacity is no longer as urgent as it once seemed. The 1 billion passengers a year the FAA predicted by 2014 has now been shoved back to 2027. Air traffic operations - takeoffs, landings and other procedures - are down 26 percent from their peak in 2000, although chronic congestion at some large airports can slow flights across the country.
Difficulties have cropped up nearly everywhere, from new landing procedures that were impossible for some planes to fly to aircraft-tracking software that misidentified planes. Key initiatives are experiencing delays and are at risk of cost overruns. And the agency still lacks "an executable plan" for bringing NextGen fully online, according to a government watchdog.
"In the early stages, the message seemed to be that NextGen implementation was going to be pretty easy: You're going to flip a switch, you're going to get NextGen, we're going to get capacity gains," said Christopher Oswald, vice president for safety and regulatory affairs at Airports Council International-North America. "It wasn't realistically presented."
Some airline officials, frustrated that they haven't seen promised money-saving benefits, say they want better results before they spend more to equip planes to use NextGen, a step vital to its success.
Lawmakers, too, are frustrated. NextGen has enjoyed broad bipartisan support in Congress, but with the government facing another round of automatic spending cuts, supporters fear the program will be increasingly starved for money.