video. celestial lights.

Celes­tial Lights from Ole C. Salomon­sen on Vimeo.

For those who do not know, auro­ras are caused by solar activ­ity. This is shortly visu­al­ized in the video. Our suns activ­ity varies in 11 year cycles, and we are clos­ing solar max­i­mum (solar max) for our cur­rent solar cycle some­where between 20122013, and solar activ­ity has clearly been pick­ing up. The begin­ning of 2011 was lots of clouds but weather improved late 2011 and out 2012. This video con­tains record­ings from some of the most spec­tac­u­lar auro­ral dis­plays I have ever wit­nessed, and I have seen a few.

money. value. coins.

A 1792-​dated cop­per cent, pic­tured here, has sold for $1.15 mil­lion dol­lars, a US auc­tion house said Fri­day. The exper­i­men­tal coin with a sil­ver cen­ter was one of the first ever struck at the United States mint and is one of just 14 known to have sur­vived. (AFP Photo)

US penny sells for $1.15 million

Some 1792-​dated cents have a sil­ver plug as a pro­posed way to over­come a flaw in the Mint Act of 1792,” said Todd Imhof, vice pres­i­dent of Texas-​based Her­itage Auctions.

That con­gres­sional law would have made pen­nies of the era too large and heavy for prac­ti­cal use,” he added. “So the mint’s chief coiner sug­gested mak­ing a smaller sized coin using a tiny sil­ver plug with three-​fourths of a cent worth of sil­ver and a quarter-cent’s worth cop­per sur­round­ing it.”

Con­gress then reduced the offi­cial weight of the cent, mak­ing an all-​copper coin more prac­ti­cal. The first early Amer­i­can cents were struck for actual cir­cu­la­tion in 1793 were a lit­tle larger than a mod­ern quar­ter coin.

The exper­i­men­tal coin is graced with a por­trait of “Miss Lib­erty” and the inscrip­tion “Lib­erty Par­ent of Soci­ety and Indus­try” on the front and a wreath and the words “United States of Amer­ica One Cent” on the back.

nuclear pages. global zero. nuclear arms reductions. tactical.

Global Zero Proposal

Fol­low­ing on the New START treaty recently brought into force, Global Zero calls for the United States and Rus­sia to begin com­pre­hen­sive nuclear arms nego­ti­a­tions in early 2013 to reduce their arse­nals to as low as 1,000 total weapons each, and, as part of these nego­ti­a­tions, to pur­sue the expe­dited removal of all of their tac­ti­cal nuclear weapons from com­bat bases on the Euro­pean con­ti­nent to national stor­age facil­i­ties in the United States and Russia.

These com­pre­hen­sive nego­ti­a­tions would, for the first time in his­tory, include all non­strate­gic nuclear weapons (com­monly referred to as tac­ti­cal or sub-​strategic nuclear weapons) and all non-​deployed strate­gic weapons (‘reserve’ strate­gic vehi­cles and war­heads in stor­age) in addi­tion to the deployed strate­gic war­heads and deliv­ery vehi­cles that are con­strained by New START.

health care crisis. medical neglect. litigation. bp oil spill.

Inves­ti­ga­tion: Two Years After the BP Spill, A Hid­den Health Cri­sis Festers


Wit­nesses reported a host of ail­ments, includ­ing eye, nose and throat irri­ta­tion; res­pi­ra­tory prob­lems; blood in urine, vomit and rec­tal bleed­ing; seizures; nau­sea and vio­lent vom­it­ing episodes that last for hours; skin irri­ta­tion, burn­ing and lesions; short-​term mem­ory loss and con­fu­sion; liver and kid­ney dam­age; cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem effects and ner­vous sys­tem dam­age; hyper­ten­sion; and mis­car­riages.
Con­tinue read­ing

cia. declassification. foia. national security archive.

from unredacted

Last Sep­tem­ber, the CIA qui­etly (and ille­gally) slipped reg­u­la­tions into the fed­eral reg­is­ter that allowed it to change its Manda­tory Declas­si­fi­ca­tion Review fee struc­ture. The Agency now charges up to $72 per hour of search and review –even if no doc­u­ments are found or released. It also now requires that requesters pay a whop­ping 50¢ per page released, at a min­i­mum of $15 dol­lars per request. Requesters must agree to pay all the before the CIA will even begin work­ing on their MDR request.

scientific imaging. nasa. solar flares.

Flares And More Flares (March 23, 2012) [hd video]

Over the course of three days (Mar. 57, 2012), a sin­gle, large active region blasted out over a dozen solar flares. STEREO (Behind) space­craft caught the action in extreme UV light. Sav­ing the best for last, it erupted with an X5 flare (X is the largest cat­e­gory) and a storm of charged par­ti­cles as part of a coro­nal mass ejec­tion. We’ll be track­ing this region around the far side of the Sun with STEREO and be ready if the Sun’s rota­tion car­ries the exist­ing activ­ity back into view around March 28th. The par­ti­cles near the end of the clip look like a mass of squig­gling amoeba, a dis­tor­tion caused by STEREO’s image pro­cess­ing. And note, a large promi­nence danc­ing above the edge of the Sun adds a nice touch to the video.

From NASA God­dard Photo and Video’s photostream