Daily Archives: December 4, 2012

Views from the Solar System (84)


Super Typhoon Bopha
NASA – This still image of Super Typhoon Bopha was taken by Expedition 34 Commander Kevin Ford on Sunday, Dec. 2 from the International Space Station, as the storm bore down on the Philippines with winds of 135 miles per hour.

Parts of the orbital outpost are seen in the picture — the Permanent Multipurpose Module on the left, and Mini-Research Module 1 on the right.

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Why Congress can’t deliberate


By Lorelei Kelly – The new Congress next year will likely inherit high-stakes standoffs over many complicated issues, from financial credibility to immigration. Our elected leaders must be able to make difficult trade-offs and craft policies that reflect the best expert knowledge.

In its current dysfunctional state, however, Congress cannot have nuanced deliberations or make knowledgeable judgments. One big reason is that it no longer has the capacity to produce unbiased public-interest information.

In the mid-1990s the mechanisms that produced the information and statistics that Congress had relied on to produce bills were virtually disassembled. Under House Speaker Newt Gingrich, many support panels that supplied information and analysis to Congress members were disbanded or curtailed. more> http://tinyurl.com/aplhmm8

The yen gets it in the end


By James Saft – What happens when an over-valued currency meets a political leader seemingly bent on imposing his vision on a battered central bank?

Watch Japan, soon-to-be Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the yen in 2013 to find out.

Bold macroeconomic planning this all may well be, and no one can argue that the BOJ, which gained independence to set policy in 1998, has covered itself in glory, but the implication is that Japan in 2013 will be an interesting and potentially explosive experiment in how to approach the issues of debt, demographics and deflation which trouble not just Japan but large swaths of the rest of the world. more> http://tinyurl.com/bccczdf

Where Have Our Winters Gone?


NSF – When the winds are right and the desert is dry, dust blows eastward from the semi-arid regions of the U.S. Southwest. In a dust-up, Western style, small dark particles fall on the mountains’ white snowfields, ultimately affecting the entire Colorado River watershed.

While dust has always blown into these mountains, the expansion of grazing and other disturbances in the western U.S. in the mid- to late-1800s led to a five- to seven-fold increase in dust loading. The snow cover became darker and lasted for shorter and shorter periods. more> http://tinyurl.com/bbf9dp9

2013 IT salaries: 15 titles getting the biggest pay raises


By Ann Bednarz – Certain IT titles will be getting sizable salary hikes, according to data from recruiting and staffing specialist Robert Half Technology. At the top of the heap, based on percentage gains, are mobile application developers and wireless network engineers, who can expect a 9% and 7.9% increase in starting salaries, respectively.

  • Mobile applications developer – Net: 9% increase
  • Wireless network engineer – Net: 7.9% increase
  • Network engineer – Net: 7.8% increase

more> http://tinyurl.com/c2lspmf

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CONGRESS WATCH Tipton Urges Extension of Vital Specialty Crops Programs, US Congress Tipton to Participate in U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Tuesday, US Congress Renew the PTC, Pueblo Chieftain Buy local, durangoherald.com Tipton Votes for Commonsense Immigration Measure, … Continue reading

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CONGRESS WATCH Headed Toward the 11th Hour Compromise, US Congress