Galaxies Far Beyond Human Comprehension

‘Each dot is an entire galaxy containing billions of stars.’

Thousands of galaxies crowd into this Herschel image of the distant Universe. Each dot is an entire galaxy containing billions of stars. For more than a decade, astronomers have puzzled over strangely bright galaxies in the distant Universe. These ‘luminous infrared galaxies’ appear to be creating stars at such phenomenal rates that they defy conventional theories of galaxy formation.

ESA’s Herschel infrared space observatory, with its ability for very sensitive mapping over wide areas, has seen thousands of these galaxies and pinpointed their locations, showing for the first time that they are packing themselves closely together, forming large clusters of galaxies by the force of their mutual gravity.

Read moreGalaxies Far Beyond Human Comprehension

South Carolina: First Snow In Columbia Since 1887


Snow plows attempt to clear runways at Philadelphia International Airport as thousands of flights were cancelled across the East Coast

The white Christmas in the South was one for the record books. Columbia, South Carolina, had its first significant Christmas snow since weather records were first kept in 1887.

Atlanta had just over an inch of snow – the first measurable accumulation on Christmas Day since the 1880s.

Last updated at 8:29 PM on 27th December 2010

Full article here: Daily Mail

More:

Blizzards Batter US East Coast, Heaviest December Snowfall in Six Decades, Travel Comes to a Standstill, 4,000 Flights Cancelled, NYC Airports Shut

In the UK:

Britain: Coldest Christmas Day EVER (-18C)

Big Brother UK: CCTV Cameras ‘Help Solve 6 Crimes a Day’

Britain’s largest force solves six crimes every day by identifying suspects from CCTV, according to a senior officer.

Detective Chief Inspector Mick Neville said Scotland Yard has revolutionised the use of CCTV by treating it like DNA or fingerprints.

The officer, who heads the Met’s identification unit, said the number of suspects identified by his team has risen by a quarter to 2,512.

The majority of suspected villains are named by officers and informants but some are passed on for public appeals.

He said: “The key to our success is that images, unidentified images, are treated as a forensic discipline. They are treated like fingerprints and DNA. When we get them we make sure that every effort is made to identify them.

“It is not the technology, it is more about managing it in a way that produces the best results. That is why we have got police forces from around the world coming to see how we do it. We had officers from Sweden and Holland over in the last week.”

The Met identified 2,512 wanted people in 2010, compared with 1,970 the previous year. The figures included four suspected murderers, 23 rapists and sex attackers and five wanted gunmen.

Read moreBig Brother UK: CCTV Cameras ‘Help Solve 6 Crimes a Day’

More than 25% of Kids and Teens in the US Take Prescriptions on a Regular Basis

So Young and So Many Pills


Dec. 28 (Wall Street Journal) — Gage Martindale, who is 8 years old, has been taking a blood-pressure drug since he was a toddler. “I want to be healthy, and I don’t want things in my heart to go wrong,” he says.

And, of course, his mom is always there to check Gage’s blood pressure regularly with a home monitor, and to make sure the second-grader doesn’t skip a dose of his once-a-day enalapril.

These days, the medicine cabinet is truly a family affair. More than a quarter of U.S. kids and teens are taking a medication on a chronic basis, according to Medco Health Solutions Inc., the biggest U.S. pharmacy-benefit manager with around 65 million members. Nearly 7% are on two or more such drugs, based on the company’s database figures for 2009.

Doctors and parents warn that prescribing medications to children can be problematic. There is limited research available about many drugs’ effects in kids. And health-care providers and families need to be vigilant to assess the medicines’ impact, both intended and not. Although the effects of some medications, like cholesterol-lowering statins, have been extensively researched in adults, the consequences of using such drugs for the bulk of a patient’s lifespan are little understood.

Many medications kids take on a regular basis are well known, including treatments for asthma and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

But children and teens are also taking a wide variety of other medications once considered only to be for adults, from statins to diabetes pills and sleep drugs, according to figures provided to The Wall Street Journal by IMS Health, a research firm. Prescriptions for antihypertensives in people age 19 and younger could hit 5.5 million this year if the trend though September continues, according to IMS. That would be up 17% from 2007, the earliest year available.

Read moreMore than 25% of Kids and Teens in the US Take Prescriptions on a Regular Basis

SkyWatch™: Manned Mobile Surveillance System


Added: 28 Dec. 2010

Elevated, Highly Mobile Security Solutions

Vantage point is everything when it comes to surveillance. SkyWatch™ units provide a high level platform for an array of surveillance options. Every tower includes the basics for the comfort and safety of the officer inside through adjustable heat and air conditioning, tinted sliding glass windows and comfortable seating. And no matter the application, only one person is required to set up and deploy a unit.

The SkyWatch can easily be relocated and is rugged enough to handle even the most primitive off-road conditions. And all models are adaptable for cameras, radios, public address systems and other equipment integration.

Now, one officer can cover an area previously requiring three or more personnel.

http://www.icxt.com/

‘Science Can Be Fun’: British 8-Year-Olds Publish Study In Top Science Journal

Related information:

British eight-year-olds publish study in top science journal (AFP)

Kids’ bee study published in science journal (CBC News)

Children’s bee study makes it to Royal Society journal (BBC News)



A bumblebee collecting pollen of a cherry blossom. A group of British children aged between eight and 10 had their school project on bees published by the prestigious Royal Society in a world scientific first, the society said Wednesday.

A group of British children aged between eight and 10 had their school project on bees published by the prestigious Royal Society in a world scientific first, the society said Wednesday.

The pupils from Blackawton primary school in the southwestern English county of Devon investigated how bumblebees see colours and patterns using a series of experiments in a local churchyard.

The findings by the 25 children, drawn up with a scientist who lives in the area, have been published in Biology Letters, a peer-reviewed journal published by the Royal Society.

“The field of insect colour and pattern vision is generally poorly understood and the findings reported by the school children represent a genuine advance in the field,” the Royal Society said in a statement.

The headmaster of the school, Dave Strudwick, said his pupils “devised, conducted and wrote up an experiment which resulted in genuinely novel findings, so they deserve to be published.”

The children used patterns drawn with coloured pencil to see whether the insects would go for sugar water and avoid salt water.

“We discovered that bumblebees can use a combination of colour and spatial relationships in deciding which colour of flower to forage from. We also discovered that science is cool and fun because you get to do stuff that no one has ever done before,” they concluded in the paper.

editor Brian Charlesworth said their paper was a “world first in high quality scientific publishing.”

The study can be read at http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/early/2010/12/18/rsbl.2010.1056.abstract

December 22, 2010

Source: Physorg.com (Watch the 17min. video!)

Bailed-Out US Banks Slip Toward Failure

Related information:

Goldman Sachs Will Pay Out $111 Million in Bonuses, Has Set Out $13 Billion to Cover Compensation and Benefits This Year Alone

Federal Reserve Withholds Collateral Data for $885 Billion in Financial-Crisis Loans

Federal Reserve Made $9 Trillion In Emergency Overnight Loans

Has the Federal Reserve become the central bank of the world?

Jesse Ventura Conspiracy Theory: Wall Street

Catherine Austin Fitts: The Looting Of America

The Dylan Ratigan Show with Prof. William Black: ‘Fire Holder, Fire Geithner, Fire Bernanke’


Number of Shaky Lenders Rises to 98 as Bad Loans Pile Up; Smaller Institutions Hit Hardest


Dec. 26 (Wall Street Journal) — Nearly 100 U.S. banks that got bailout funds from the federal government show signs they are in jeopardy of failing.

The total, based on an analysis of third-quarter financial results by The Wall Street Journal, is up from 86 in the second quarter, reflecting eroding capital levels, a pileup of bad loans and warnings from regulators. The 98 banks in shaky condition got more than $4.2 billion in infusions from the Treasury Department under the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

When TARP was created in the heat of the financial crisis, government officials said it would help only healthy banks. The depth of today’s problems for some of the institutions, however, suggests that a number of them were in parlous shape from the beginning.

Seven TARP recipients have already failed, resulting in more than $2.7 billion in lost TARP funds. Most of the troubled TARP recipients are small, plagued by wayward lending programs from which they might not recover. The median size of the 98 banks was $439 million in assets as of Sept. 30. The median TARP infusion for each was $10 million, federal filings show.

“We certainly understand and recognize that some of the smaller institutions are experiencing stress,” said David Miller, chief investment officer at the Treasury Department’s Office of Financial Stability, which runs TARP. He noted that Congress mandated that banks of all sizes be eligible for TARP, adding that the government’s TARP investment as a whole is performing well.

Read moreBailed-Out US Banks Slip Toward Failure

China Matches US Space Launches for First Time

Outwardly, it looked like just another big space launch — and those happen about once a week, from spaceports all around the world. But Friday’s blast-off of a rocket, carrying a Chinese GPS-style navigation satellite, from the Xi Chang Satellite Launch Center was different. It set a record for successful Chinese launches in one year: 15.

The launch represented another important milestone. For the first time since the chilliest days of the Cold War, another country has matched the United States in sheer number of rocket launches.

To some observers, the rapid acceleration of the Chinese space program is perfectly reasonable, even expected. With nearly 20 percent of the world’s population and the planet’s second-biggest economy by some measures, it stands to reason that China would join other advanced, spacefaring nations — and on a grander scale.

But more cautious (or alarmist, depending on your point of view) China-watchers question Beijing’s motives, and warn of potentially dire consequences if China comes to dominate the heavens.

In an interview with Danger Room, space expert Brian Weeden from the Secure World Foundation took a measured view: Sure, China’s catching up fast, but the world’s most powerful Communist country still has a long way to go before it can go toe-to-toe with the United States in space.

Weeden’s argument boils down to an appreciation of quality versus quantity. “On a pure technology basis, I would put them [China] behind the established spacefaring states such as the United States, Russia, Europe, Canada and Japan. This is largely due to China’s deficiencies in advanced technology in general and not limited to just space. However, on a space-capability basis, I would put them ahead of everyone but the United States and Russia, and just behind those two leaders.”

In other words, China makes up for the generally lower-quality of its spacecraft by building more of them — and a greater variety.

Read moreChina Matches US Space Launches for First Time

Blizzards Batter US East Coast, Heaviest December Snowfall in Six Decades, Travel Comes to a Standstill, 4,000 Flights Cancelled, NYC Airports Shut

Travel comes to a standstill as blizzards batter US east coast (Guardian):

More than 3,000 flights cancelled, mostly from New York’s three main airports, stranding tens of thousands trying to return home after Christmas holiday.

Snow cancels 4,000 flights, shuts NYC airports (USA Today):

A strong Christmas-weekend blizzard paralyzed travel along much of the East Coast on Monday, halting flights at the three New York City airports for much of the day.

For those stranded, airport and airline officials warned it could take “days” before they could be accommodated on future flights


Snow Blankets U.S. East Coast


A bicycle is buried in snow in the early morning hours in Manhattan’s East Village. Photographer: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Dec. 27 (Bloomberg) — New York City’s major airports remained closed after the heaviest December snowfall in six decades left travelers in the Northeast struggling amid waist- high drifts and blinding winds.

Central Park had 20 inches (51 centimeters) of snow by 8 a.m., the most for the month since 1948, the National Weather Service said. Skies cleared by daybreak while the agency issued blizzard warnings for Boston and into Maine.

The storm forced airlines to cancel more than 6,000 flights since yesterday. John F. Kennedy International and New Jersey’s Newark Liberty will reopen at 6 p.m., and LaGuardia Airport’s resumption time is undetermined, according to the Federal Aviation Administration’s website.

“It is horrendous in the New York City area,” Tom Kines, a meteorologist at State College, Pennsylvania-based AccuWeather Inc., said by telephone. “This is about as bad as it gets. There may have been storms that equaled this, but it doesn’t get much worse than this. To get this much snow with the amount of wind that is accompanying it, that is devastating.”

Read moreBlizzards Batter US East Coast, Heaviest December Snowfall in Six Decades, Travel Comes to a Standstill, 4,000 Flights Cancelled, NYC Airports Shut

President Obama To Enact ‘Death Panels’

WASHINGTON — When a proposal to encourage end-of-life planning touched off a political storm over “death panels,” Democrats dropped it from legislation to overhaul the health care system. But the Obama administration will achieve the same goal by regulation, starting Jan. 1.

Under the new policy, outlined in a Medicare regulation, the government will pay doctors who advise patients on options for end-of-life care, which may include advance directives to forgo aggressive life-sustaining treatment.

Congressional supporters of the new policy, though pleased, have kept quiet. They fear provoking another furor like the one in 2009 when Republicans seized on the idea of end-of-life counseling to argue that the Democrats’ bill would allow the government to cut off care for the critically ill.

The final version of the health care legislation, signed into law by President Obama in March, authorized Medicare coverage of yearly physical examinations, or wellness visits. The new rule says Medicare will cover “voluntary advance care planning,” to discuss end-of-life treatment, as part of the annual visit.

Read morePresident Obama To Enact ‘Death Panels’