Daily Archives: October 20, 2011

Galactic Views (11)


When Galaxies Collide
NASA – This interacting pair of galaxies is included in Arp‘s catalog of peculiar galaxies as number 148. Arp 148 is the staggering aftermath of an encounter between two galaxies, resulting in a ring-shaped galaxy and a long-tailed companion. The collision between the two parent galaxies produced a shockwave effect that first drew matter into the center and then caused it to propagate outwards in a ring. The elongated companion perpendicular to the ring suggests that Arp 148 is a unique snapshot of an ongoing collision. Infrared observations reveal a strong obscuration region that appears as a dark dust lane across the nucleus in optical light. Arp 148 is nicknamed Mayall’s object and is located in the constellation of Ursa Major, the Great Bear, approximately 500 million light-years away.

This image is part of a large collection of 59 images of merging galaxies taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and released on April 24, 2008, the observatory’s 18th anniversary. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration, and A. Evans (University of Virginia, Charlottesville/NRAO/Stony Brook University)


Motorola Solutions: The Other Motorola

By Elizabeth Woyke – In mid-2008 Motorola was in trouble, and CEO Greg Brown was miserable. His mobile phone business was sagging, hurt by the Apple iPhone, and struggling to respond. The economy was sinking into recession. And he needed to figure out how to split up Motorola to placate shareholders like Carl Icahn.

With 82 years in the communications business the old Motorola produced many breakthroughs—like the first cellphone call, in 1973. But the company also made major blunders, almost completely missing the rise of smartphones, for instance, an oversight that set the stage for the financial struggles that led to the company’s split. more> http://tinyurl.com/3q25227

EU agrees on bank capital needs, split over bailout fund

By Julien Toyer and Jan Strupczewski – A deal on recapitalization clears one hurdle for leaders ahead of the Sunday summit of European leaders, but there remain large areas of disagreement.

France has argued the most effective way of leveraging the EFSF is to turn it into a bank which could use funding from the European Central Bank, but both the ECB and Berlin oppose this and the proposal now appears to be dead.

Instead, there is an initiative to use the EFSF to guarantee a portion of potential losses on new euro zone debt, a way of trying to restore market confidence that Italian and Spanish bonds are safe to buy. By guaranteeing only a portion, perhaps a third or a fifth, of each debt issue, the EFSF’s funds would stretch 3-5 times further. more> http://is.gd/f9JO62

Siemens Sets FreeTrial for CAD, Sim Tool

By Beth Stackpole – Users can download full production versions of the Solid Edge ST4 CAD software and Femap simulation tool free of charge for use for 45 days. The hope is that by removing any barriers with this no-strings-attached trial license offer, users will have an opportunity to download the software and experiment without any added pressure from a sales team, according to John Fox, Siemens PLM Software‘s vice president of Velocity Series marketing. more> http://tinyurl.com/3bh82fn

Retirement Heist: How Firms Plunder Workers’ Nest Eggs


Retirement Heist: How Companies Plunder and Profit from the Nest Eggs of American Workers
, Author: Ellen Schultz

By Steve Denning – Two decades ago, pensions were well funded, due to laws and regulations passed in the 1970s and 1980s. By 2000, pension plans at many large companies had large surpluses that would have covered all current and future retirees’ pensions without them having to contribute anything.

Yet US firms found ways to siphon off billions of dollars in assets from the pension plans. Verizon used assets to finance downsizings. GE sold pension surpluses in restructuring deals, indirectly converting pension assets into cash. Many firms clandestinely cut benefits, using “actuarial sleight of hand to disguise the cuts.” more> http://tinyurl.com/65nhjtc


CONGRESS WATCH Sen. Snowe Praises Passage of Bill to Hold China Accountable for Breaking the Rules, US Senate Sen. Snowe Calls for Coordinated Bath Salts Response, US Senate Snowe Calls Decision to Scrap Costly New Entitlement Program “The Right Move”, … Continue reading


CONGRESS WATCH NBC Nightly News: Recession and Older Americans, US Senate [VIDEO 3:05] Vermont woman tells lawmakers of recession’s impact on seniors, Nicole Guadiano, US Senate INCOME SECURITY: Older Adults and the 2007-2009 Recession (pdf), GAO Sanders Statement on Social … Continue reading