Daily Archives: January 13, 2012

Views from the Solar System (20)


Welcome Disruption
NASA – The line of Saturn’s rings disrupts the Cassini spacecraft’s view of the moons Tethys and Titan.

Larger Titan (3,200 miles, or 5,150 kilometers across) is on the left. Tethys (660 miles, or 1,062 kilometers across) is near the center of the image. This view looks toward the Saturn-facing sides of Tethys and Titan. The angle also shows the northern, sunlit side of the rings from less than one degree above the ring plane. The image was taken in visible red light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Dec. 7, 2011. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.4 million miles (2.2 million kilometers) from Tethys and 1.9 million miles (3.1 million kilometers) from Titan. Image scale is 8 miles (13 kilometers) per pixel on Tethys and 12 miles (19 kilometers) on Titan.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two on-board cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute


Obama wants to shrink government, boost exports

By Laura MacInnis – In proposing to close down the U.S. Commerce Department and merge six agencies, Obama could inoculate himself against Republican charges that he is a big-government liberal. Analysts were skeptical that Republicans in Congress would act on Obama’s request in an election year.

With U.S. unemployment still high and the economy growing slowly, Obama is trying to boost U.S. trade ties with developing markets such as Asia as a way to spur output. He has set a goal of doubling U.S. exports in five years – from $1.57 trillion in 2009 to $3.14 trillion by 2015. more> http://tinyurl.com/76ctejd

Congress should abandon ‘the quick fix’

U.S. Capitol no. 6605

Image by Eric E Johnson @Flickr

By Matthew Mitchell – In a strange new ritual, Washington routinely grinds to a halt to deal with some crisis or another. One moment it’s a looming tax hike, the next a government shutdown. One week it’s a threatened default on our national debt; the next, triggered sequesters or benefit cuts.

The common thread in these episodes: a politician with a quick fix.

Washington’s inability to commit to long-term policy is becoming a dangerous routine. In the 1990s there were fewer than a dozen temporary tax provisions, but today there are 141. This endless parade of expiration dates has cast a cloud of uncertainty over the entire U.S. economy, and that uncertainty may be undermining growth. more> http://tinyurl.com/7rlthvx

Crowdsourcing Creates CAD Groundswell

By Beth Stackpole – Local Motors, for example, is a startup car company, which, according to its mission statement, is looking to “lead the next generation of crowd-powered automotive manufacturing, design, and technology in order to enable the creation of game-changing vehicles.” Via an open community platform called Local Forge, participants, including everyone from car buffs to industrial designers and car engineers and fabricators, are invited to submit ideas, provide commentary and feedback, and eventually vote on the best design to serve as a final vehicle concept to move into production. more> http://tinyurl.com/85qe4rg

Carving Up the Retail Industry

By Hutch Carpenter – Digital disruption. Coming to a store near you. That online and mobile commerce is increasing its share of business really isn’t a surprise. The Internet, as promised in the 1990s, is turning over many industries. Retail being another such industry, although it’s a much slower process of disruption. Which means the physical retailers have time. Time to take their natural advantages and build on them. more> http://tinyurl.com/7r4e3dw


CONGRESS WATCH Final Sequestration Report for Fiscal Year 2012Under the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (Deficit Control Act), as amended by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (Public Law 112-25), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is … Continue reading