Daily Archives: January 14, 2013

Galactic Views (71)


Blazing Black Holes Spotted in Spiral Beauty
NASA – This new view of spiral galaxy IC 342, also known as Caldwell 5, includes data from NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR. High-energy X-ray data from NuSTAR have been translated to the color magenta, and superimposed on a visible-light view highlighting the galaxy and its star-studded arms. NuSTAR is the first orbiting telescope to take focused pictures of the cosmos in high-energy X-ray light; previous observations of this same galaxy taken at similar wavelengths blurred the entire object into one pixel.

The two magenta spots are blazing black holes first detected at lower-energy X-ray wavelengths by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. With NuSTAR’s complementary data, astronomers can start to home in on the black holes’ mysterious properties. The black holes appear much brighter than typical stellar-mass black holes, such as those that pepper our own galaxy, yet they cannot be supermassive black holes or they would have sunk to the galaxy’s center. Instead, they may be intermediate in mass, or there may be something else going on to explain their extremely energetic state. NuSTAR will help solve this puzzle.

IC 342 lies 7 million light-years away in the Camelopardalis constellation. The outer edges of the galaxy cannot be seen in this view.

This image shows NuSTAR X-ray data taken at 10 to 35 kiloelectron volts.

The visible-light image is from the Digitized Sky Survey.

› NuSTAR data only Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/DSS

Snares strewn on Obama’s path as he pushes second-term agenda

English: Barack Obama speaks at Xcel Energy Ce...

English: Barack Obama speaks at Xcel Energy Center on June 3, 2008 when he clinched the Democratic nomination. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Amie Parnes – President Obama has been on the offensive since his reelection but landmines lie in his path that could detonate in the short and medium term, depleting his political capital and perhaps even undermining his legacy.

Even Democrats, including some who have worked for him, worry that Obama could be diverted from the policy agenda that underpins his popularity if he attempts major reform of immigration and gun rights.

“The biggest landmine is veering away from what he campaigned on, which is the strengthening of the middle class,” said one top Democratic strategist. more> http://tinyurl.com/bcrcp6m

Global Warming Is Changing U.S. Daily Life

A male polar bear

A male polar bear (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Seth Borenstein – A special panel of scientists convened by the government issued Friday (Jan 11) a 1,146-page draft report that details in dozens of ways how climate change is already disrupting the health, homes and other facets of daily American life. It warns that those disruptions will increase in the future.

“Climate change affects everything that you do,” said report co-author Susan Cutter, director of the Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute at the University of South Carolina. “It affects where you live, where you work and where you play and the infrastructure that you need to do all these things. It’s more than just the polar bears.” more> http://tinyurl.com/ckgn2hp

Broadband as Driver for Today’s Consumer Electronics

English: Taken at the 2009 Consumer electronic...

English: Taken at the 2009 Consumer electronics show, Las Vegas, at the Samsung Booth.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Drew Clark – Today, broadband is the driver for almost all of today’s digital technologies. Of the hundreds of examples of digital technologies that I experienced last week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, I cannot recall a single one of them that wasn’t broadband-enabled.

Here’ the top 10 issues for 2013:

  1. Data Caps for Wireless Broadband, the Spectrum Crunch, and Wireless Home Networking
  2. How Will FirstNET Improve Public Safety Communications?
  3. Smart Cars, Data Sensors, and Machine-to-Machine Communications: What’s Coming Up this Year
  4. Becoming a Gigabit Nation: What Have we Learned About Ultra-High Speed from Google, Comcast, Verizon and Others?
  5. Global and Mobile: How Wireless Broadband Spurs Economic Development
  6. Smart Energy: Broadband and the Green Revolution
  7. Over the Top: Broadband Video Challenges Cable and Broadcast Programming
  8. Mobile Health: Will Wireless Devices Help Solve the Nation’s Health Crises?
  9. Changes to Patent Law and the Landscape for Innovation
  10. Will Tablets Dethrone Computers as the Gateway to Sustainable Broadband Adoption?

more> http://tinyurl.com/ao2cmqj

Will Dodd-Frank Trigger a New Financial Crisis?

Trajan's Market, Rome

Trajan’s Market, Rome (Photo credit: Bochum1805)


Dodd-Frank: What It Does and Why It’s Flawed, Authors: Hester Peirce and James Broughel, Mercatus Center of George Mason University.

By Carten Cordell – In the wake of the fiscal crisis of 2008, lawmakers in Washington rushed to craft legislation to curtail risky practices at the center of the financial collapse.

The product was the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a massive slate of regulations that expanded the role of government to police everything from debit card purchases to insurance.

“I think it really didn’t get to the problems we saw in the last crisis. In fact, I think it made them worse in many ways,” said Hester Peirce, a senior research fellow at Mercatus and, with James Broughel, co-author of the book. more> http://tinyurl.com/b687hgz