Daily Archives: March 17, 2011

Chasma Boreale, Mars

Chasma Boreale, MarsNASA – Chasma Boreale, a long, flat-floored valley, cuts deep into Mars’ north polar icecap. Its walls rise about 4,600 feet, or 1,400 meters, above the floor. Where the edge of the ice cap has retreated, sheets of sand are emerging that accumulated during earlier ice-free climatic cycles. Winds blowing off the ice have pushed loose sand into dunes and driven them down-canyon in a westward direction.

This scene combines images taken during the period from December 2002 to February 2005 by the Thermal Emission Imaging System instrument on NASA’s Mars Odyssey was part of a special series of images marking the orbiter as the longest-working Mars spacecraft in history.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU


Nuclear Energy Guide

By Natallia Pinchuk, Nick Touran, Brian Wagner – A nuclear reactor is a system that contains and controls sustained nuclear chain reactions. Reactors are used for generating electricity, moving aircraft carriers and submarines, producing medical isotopes for imaging and cancer treatment, and for conducting research. more> http://tinyurl.com/4uwsav5

Control The Nuclear Power Plant (Demonstration), Henrik Eriksson http://tinyurl.com/dd4ph

Inside a Nuclear Reactor (Photo gallery), LIFE http://tinyurl.com/48ltz7l

cfr Nuclear Energy GuideCouncil on Foreign Relations – Nuclear power comes with unique issues of construction, fuel, operation, and waste. Changes in related policies are needed as the industry seeks to grow. more> http://tinyurl.com/4ub3the

Partisan battle turns green city grey

Wind energy, DenmarkEurActiv – Copenhagen’s ambitious plans to become Europe’s first zero-carbon city by 2025 have been thrown into doubt by a party political row – and windmills look set to become the first victims.

In August 2009, the city council passed the Copenhagen Climate Plan, which includes 50 specific initiatives to reduce carbon emissions, 34 of which were launched in 2010. But objections about the windmills’ alleged unsightliness were raised by wealthy residents in nearby Gentofte region, supported by vice-mayor and MP Eyvind Vesselbo.

The Danish wind turbine industry is the world’s largest and wind power already provides Denmark with 18.9% of its electricity production and 21.4% of its generation capacity. more> http://tinyurl.com/6264tn6


New NIST Testing Device May Help to ‘Seal the Deal’ for Building Owners

NIST sealant testingNIST – a building is as secure against the environment as its most degraded joint sealants, about 50 percent of which fail in less than 10 years after installation. The upshot for U.S. homeowners is that moisture damage due to failed sealants is responsible for much of the $65 billion to $80 billion they collectively shell out for house repairs annually.

The NIST-developed testing devices could supplant current methods, which essentially entail exposing sealants to the elements for extended periods with no movement and then visually inspecting the materials for cracks and other signs of degradation. Using materials that can be purchased at the local hardware store—such as wood, PVC pipe and toilet flanges—and combining them with arrays of load and environmental sensors, NIST research chemist Christopher White and his colleagues built a state-of-the-art testing system representative of real-world conditions. more> http://tinyurl.com/5r6ro4f

Why can’t many members of Congress understand why a neutral Internet is important?

Scott BradnerBy Scott Bradner – Some of the people who object to what the FCC is doing claim that the commission does not have the authority under the law to make any rules about Internet network neutrality. This is a legitimate objection.

Others claim that there is not a problem to fix since all the carriers, telephone and cable, have been exemplary Internet citizens and have not done anything anyone would call bad. This is demonstrably wrong.

But these are not the reactions I’m most concerned with. Too many in Congress, and elsewhere, see that any attempt at ensuring network neutrality will, in the words of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., “stifle innovation, in turn slowing our economic turnaround and further depressing an already anemic job market.” more> http://tinyurl.com/65n6wbp