Daily Archives: December 13, 2011

Views from the Solar System (15)


Apollo 17 Extravehicular Activity – 39 Years Ago Today
NASA – 39 years ago, today, scientist-astronaut Harrison H. Schmitt is photographed standing next to a huge, split lunar boulder during the third Apollo 17 extravehicular activity (EVA) at the Taurus-Littrow landing site. The Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV), which transported Schmitt and Eugene A. Cernan to this extravehicular station from their Lunar Module (LM), is seen in the background. The mosaic is made from two frames from Apollo 17 Hasselblad magazine 140. The two frames were photographed by Cernan. Image Credit: NASA/Eugene Cernan


Euro Leaders’ Fiscal Union Pact Leaves Next Step to ECB

By James G. Neuger and Simon Kennedy – In a clash that may reshape Europe’s balance of power, the euro users took the novel approach of enshrining the debt rules in a new treaty that leaves out the U.K. instead of amending EU agreements that date back to the 1950s. Nine of the 10 non-euro members — Denmark, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania — indicated they may follow suit after consulting with their parliaments.

The trigger was the refusal by U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron to back a 27-nation pact without ironclad guarantees of a British veto right over future financial regulations. Cameron called them a threat to London’s standing as Europe’s leading financial center. more> http://twurl.nl/0rv0vj

Physicists create the smallest conceivable switch

R&D Mag – Dr. Willi Auwaerter and Professor Johannes Barth, together with their team of physicists at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM), have now presented a novel molecular switch in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Decisive for the functionality of the switch is the position of a single proton in a porphyrin ring with an inside diameter of less than half a nanometer. The physicists can set four distinct states on demand.

Porphyins/Tetraphenylporphyrin likes to take on a saddle shape and is not limited in its functionality when it is anchored to a metal surface. The molecule holds has a pair of hydrogen atoms that can change their positions between two configurations each. At room temperature this process takes place continuously at an extremely rapid rate. more> http://twurl.nl/tkvd6f

For Dassault, 3D Sketch Is a Natural

By Beth Stackpole – Thanks to the influx of mobile tablets like the iPad, 2D sketch tools and industrial design capabilities are suddenly hot. So hot that Dassault Systèmes just added a new 3D sketch tool to its CAD and PLM lineup.

The idea beyond CATIA Natural Sketch is to let users more quickly transform 2D ideas into 3D realities as well as to explore design details and alternatives by sketching directly on existing 3D models. more> http://twurl.nl/pb45b4

THOMAS Top Ten – compiled on Dec 11 2011

Congress watchLibrary of Congress –

  1. S. 1867 [112th]
    National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012
  2. H.R. 1540 [112th]
    National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012
  3. H.R. 3012 [112th]
    Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act
  4. H.R. 3261 [112th]
    Stop Online Piracy Act
  5. H.R. 2112 [112th]
    Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012
  6. H.R. 10 [112th]
    Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2011
  7. H.R. 1633 [112th]
    Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011
  8. S. 1253 [112th]
    National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012
  9. S. 1857 [112th]
    Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act
  10. H.R. 822 [112th]
    National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011

CONGRESS WATCH Savings Proposed by House Republicans in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act Reflect Areas of Bipartisan Agreement, US Congress RSC Budget for FY 2012: Honest Solutions, US Congress Rep. James Lankford (OK-05): A Common Sense … Continue reading


CONGRESS WATCH Cost Estimate for H.R. 2105, Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Reform and Modernization Act of 2011 Cost estimate for the bill as provided by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on December 8, 2011 The U.S. Federal … Continue reading