Meteor Showers Comet 209P/Linear| StarDate Online

A new meteor shower is on tap for the continental United States as the Earth passes through an old debris field left behind in the 1700’s by Comet 209P/LINEAR. Comet 209P/LINEAR is a short term periodic comet that orbits roughly every five years between the orbits of Earth and Jupiter. Comet 209P/LINEAR is usually a small dim comet that isn’t spectacular as other comets such as Hale-Bopp and Halley, yet it lays down the essential ingredients for a meteor shower like most other comets. Because of it’s orbit the Earth usually does not pass through the debris field it leaves behind to produce a meteor shower. According to astrophysicists Jupiter’s gravitational field has pushed the debris field left behind in the 1700’s so the Earth will be passing directly through it.

This gives an opportunity for those of Earth to be treated to a meteor shower that has never been witnessed in modern times. Other periodic meteor showers such as the Leonids and Geminids that can be observed from year to year tend to be predictable and average, but the debris field left behind by comet 209P/LINEAR has scientists guessing and we could be in for a spectacular show. Predictions are ranging anywhere from 200 to 1000 meteors per hour depending on which scientist you ask.

Some astrophysicists are pointing out that the debris particles left behind by comet 209P/LINEAR won’t be crashing into the Earth’s atmosphere as quickly as other comets’ debris. This will result in meteors that will light up the sky a little longer and produce longer streaks.

Tickets for this show tonight are free and courtesy of our Creator. No artificial fireworks needed.

“A brand new meteor shower could light up the pre-dawn sky on May 24, perhaps firing off hundreds of “shooting stars.””

via 2014 Meteor Showers | StarDate Online.

Hepatitis A accidental exposure Red Robin

Hepatitis A might have been accidentally spread by a Red Robin restaurant employee in Springfield, MO. An estimated 5,000 customers may have been exposed to hepatitis A. An employee of Red Robin had been diagnosed with hepatitis A

Health department officials with Springfield-Green county were notified about the illness Tuesday. State and federal officials rushed to get enough vaccine to innoculate customers that had visited the restaurant from the 8th through the 16th of May.Hepatitis A can affect the liver. Health officials hope to get as many customers vaccinated within a 2 week period otherwise the hepatitis A vaccine may not be effective.

Springfiled is located in southwest Missouri and has a population around 160,000 people.

Hepatitis A can be spread by the feces of an infected person that comes in contact with food or drink served to a restaurant customer. Proper hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of hepatitis a. Most cases of hepatitis A are not life threatening and symptoms clear up in a few weeks. Liver damage is rare with hepatitis A and there are instances of relapse. Yellowing of the eyes, nausea, vomiting, and fever are often the symptoms of an infection. A vaccine was introduced in the early 1990’s and cases of hepatitis a nationwide have dramatically decreased.

Another Red Robin employee in Stroudsburg, PA was diagnosed with hepatitis A in early May. Other incidents include a Teavana worker giving out tea samples in Indianapolis, MI. Shoppers might have been exposed on three occasions.

Drastic lifestyle changes like preparing more meals at home and raising our own food are good options to guard our health. If we rely on the FDA and CDC our lives may be in peril.

“Health officials worry that as many as 5,000 people could have been exposed to hepatitis A at a Red Robin restaurant here after a worker was diagnosed with the virus.

via Springfield Red Robin worker may have exposed thousands to hepatitis.”

Regional Newspapers Struggle to be Read| SBS News

Regional newspapers were a valuable source of news for many towns and cities in the United States. Many major metropolitan cities across the United States had at least two regional papers. Some larger cities had more. When a city had two regional papers one paper would be more conservative the other a little more liberal. Whatever the case the reader had a choice between two perspectives on the local news.

Corporate media groups have gobbled many regional newspapers across a wide swath of U.S. cities. Technology played a part in the decline of regional newspaper. Photocomposition, also known as cold type, replaced the Linotype press. Many skilled workers were put out of a job. Offset printing, which was lighter and cheaper, eventually replaced the Linotype. These factors combined to increase the bulk market value of newspapers. Heirs to these usually family owned regional newspapers could no longer bear the estate taxes forcing them to sell out to corporate media chains.

Family owned regional newspapers were quickly turned into public stock that was in turn were sold to large chains such as Gannet and Knight-Ridder.

Regional newspapers were no longer a public service, now the emphasis was on profit. The larger newspaper chains had political interests. The news was now lensed through politics. Political pressure created sanitized news. Any political opposition was quickly forced to the back pages or ignored completely.

The advent of the Internet forced further consolidation of corporate media. Newsroom staff member jobs were cut.

On the other hand the Internet has brought us independent bloggers and niche Internet radio that can bring us the important issues we face something the lamestream doesn’t want to talk about.

“That kind of news is available only in the local paper. It’s not the type of journalism that topples governments or uncovers the latest celebrity scandal, but the role of the local newspaper is arguably just as important.”

via Comment: Without local papers, regional voices would struggle to be heard | SBS News.

Godzilla 2014 – Movie Review

Godzilla was the science fiction movie of choice when I was growing up as a child. Back then televisions were simple affairs with mechanical channel changers with only 3 or 4 channels to choose from. The television world was a box where the world was black and white and the viewer, the actors, and announcers were in bed by 10 pm following a sign-off with patriotic music and movie clips reminding citizens of America’s military might. Television was sort of new back then and Godzilla was the late night sinful treat for kids staying up past their bedtime. The black and white Godzilla of those days was a bad monster keeping the really bad monsters at bay. At that age I never understood why we dropped atomic bombs on Japan and what all the fuss was about when it came to wars.

Godzilla sprang from Japan’s film industry after the devastation of World War II. Much of the nation was left homeless and starving. Now it’s 2014 and Godzilla has been rescripted and regurgitated dozens of times. The public runs to see the latest version. Times have changed and the message  carried by the old black and white Godzilla films of Japan’s World War II atomic devastation has been sanitized out. Godzilla is still portrayed as the ‘king of monsters’ in today’s modern versions but the message is more about environmental concerns, a smidgen of family drama, and a world free of atomic bombs.

I don’t want to spoil the most recent remake of Godzilla but rather tell you to be prepared to stick around for at least 2 hours. You’ll notice a tip of the hat to the movie ‘2012’ with all the metropolitan destruction and chaos. You’ll also get to see a tsunami that will remind you of the one that struck Indonesia in 2007. I don’t think they ever made a movie about that. Oh well, back to Godzilla. He still is the king of monsters and you get to see him belch after he nixes the idea of America using nuclear weapons.


Starfleet logos spotted on Mars – Weather Network


In 1966 the first episode of Star Trek debuted on television. The public was introduced to Captain Kirk and the Starfleet command. The previous year 1965 Mariner IV spacecraft made its first flyby of Mars and found a planet with little or no signs of intelligent life. Mariner IV took pictures of numerous craters and detected a thin atmosphere. There was no signs of Starfleet command. NASA wasn’t satisfied and continued planning and building more spacecraft to explore Mars.

In 1969 the last episode of original Star Trek series aired and eventually returned to the air as reruns in 1969. By 1969 NASA had flown Mariner 6 and 7 by Mars and discovered the surface of Mars was much different than our Moon. They discovered that the martian polar caps were composed of carbon dioxide. Still no signs of intelligent life or Starfleet command.

Fast forwarding to 2014 and after numerous Star Trek movies, sequels, and Star Trek conventions we have finally found Starfleet command on Mars in the form of sand dunes or barchan dunes as they are called by geologists on earth. Barchan dunes form or earth when the wind blows primarily in one direction carving a crescent shape dune. These dunes were recently imaged by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and eerily resemble the Starfleet command logo. Perhaps Mars is winking at us and trying to tell us something.

In the meantime we’ll patiently wait on Hollywood to bring us the next Star Trek movie sequel.

“Monday, May 12, 2014, 1:48 PM – Back in December, NASA scientists discovered a series of Martian sand dunes that bear a strong resemblance to the Starfleet logo from the Star Trek franchise.”

via News – To boldly go: Starfleet logos discovered on Mars – The Weather Network.

Pet Sick From Premium Kibble?-

Making your pet sick is something that a responsible pet owner wouldn’t want to do. Most pet owners adore their pets and try to feed them the premium pet foods available on the market. According to this Natural News article the ingredients in premium pet food may make you pet sick and be slowly killing them.

Some of the premium pet foods contain ingredients referred to as “4-D”, which stands for dead, dying, disabled and dead. Often these animal parts are nutritious for your pets, but in many cases these parts come from animals raised in factory farms and are tainted with things such as feces, bacteria, and growth hormones. There also might be higher levels of toxins and heavy metals than would be acceptable for human consumption. This article also points out litter from poultry farms being recycled and fed to the animals. This litter may also contain parts of dead rodents.

Moreover many of these premium pet foods that could make your pet sick contain questionable preservatives. One of the more worrisome preservatives is ethoxyquin, a chemical preservative linked to cancer.

Many pet food manufacturers also use fillers, such as wheat and corn, in their pet food recipes. This is especially an issue with dogs and cats which thrive on a raw diet of meat and these wheat and corn fillers are often genetically modified.

If you don’t want to make your pet sick carefully choose the pet foods that you use and scrutinize the ingredients label.

“According to the online pet pharmacy, PetMeds, by-products are ‘the leftover parts of the animal that are not suitable for human consumption’ and can include animal pieces such as necks, feet, bones, intestines and lungs,” explains The Screeching Kettle.

via Conventional kibble could be slowly killing your pets –

1857 Shipwreck Gold off of South Carolina Coast


Shipwreck gold was recently discovered off the coast of South Carolina after the SS Central America met it’s fate with a hurricane in 1857 and sunk to the bottom of the ocean. The shipwreck gold remained on the ocean floor 160 miles off the South Carolina coast until it was rediscovered in 1988 by a group of explorers backed by investors and led by  Ohioan Thomas Thompson. Eventually the group was able to recover a bounty of shipwreck  gold bullion weighing about 2 tons and worth more than 76 million in today’s dollars.

The SS Central America was a sidewheel steamer that operated between Central America and the Eastern seaboard of the U.S. in the 1850’s. It was also referred to as the Ship of Gold. During it’s voyage in 1857 it had been carrying 550 passengers and crew along with 30,000 lbs of gold. The shipwreck gold played a role in the Panic of 1857.

More recently the rediscovered bounty of shipwreck gold has set off a flurry of legal battles. Claimants quickly emerged from the cracks wanting to claim the gold. A majority of the claimants were insurance companies that had paid claims on the shipwreck gold in 1857.

In addition the lead explorer Thomas Thompson had  dodged court hearings surrounding the shipwreck gold and was able to sell a portion of his claim without sharing with his investors.


“Odyssey Marine Exploration last month explored the wreck of the ship, which went down in 1857 laden with so much gold that its sinking triggered a national financial panic, and the New York Times reports that the robot it sent to plumb the depths surfaced with quite the load: five gold bars clocking in at 66 pounds—or about $1.2 million.” via 1857 Shipwreck Gives Up More Gold – 5 bars of gold recovered from the SS Central America in April.

Wi-Vi system uses Wi-Fi to see through walls

The 21st century comes with the convenience of Wi-Fi communications that allow instantaneous access to information at the tap of finger almost anywhere we might be. Unfortunately Wi-Fi can be modified to operate as Wi-Vi that can be used to see through walls. Wi-Fi technology is based on similar technologies such as radar and sonar. When a Wi-Fi signal is directed at a wall part of the signal penetrates the wall and  and can be measured and displayed as a map that outlines the contours of objects on the other side of the wall. When Wi-Fi is used in this manner it is referred to as Wi-Vi. These maps can be interpreted to find and detect the movement of people or objects.

Wi-Vi is one of the many technologies in use at the United States/Mexican border to detect contraband and human smuggling. Although current Wi-Vi systems that are commercially available are too large and awkward to use as a handheld device. This isn’t to say that a handheld device isn’t available often the case is technology available to public typically is 30 years behind to what is available government agencies that often undisclosed budgets.

There are other types of technologies, such as millimeter wave imaging, that has had limited testing with police forces. Some of the initial results have been the ability to detect whether or not an individual is carry a weapon up to a distance of 25 feet. Other experiments have been done indicated that newer models of cars can be remotely shut down while they are being driven.

“Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have developed what could become low-cost, X-ray vision.”

via Wi-Vi system uses Wi-Fi to see through walls.

Synthetic Life Forms In The Lab

Researchers at Scripps Research Institute are dabbling with creating synthetic life. Scientists are betting on the creation of extended genome that can be inherited by successive generations. One of the goals stated by the article is insert the extended genome into bacteria so they can create proteins and possible drugs that would be impossible to create with current biochemistry.

One of Scripps Research Institute achievements in 2009 include regenerative medicine, also known as stem cells. Cells can be removed from a patient and used to create new organs for transplant that will not be rejected by the patient’s body.

Other achievements include work on blindness. In 2007 researchers were able to inhibit the growth of new blood vessels in test animals with neovascular eye disease. Similar tests were carried out on a vascular brain tumor with little or no effect on the normal tissue.

The genome or DNA contains two additional base pairs making it the first synthetic life form of its kind. This new synthetic life form created with the modified genome is unique and cannot be compared to other natural life forms. Floyd Romesburg, team leader of Scripp’s Research Institute scientists, concluded: “It’s a discovery that shakes our understanding of life by the scruff of the neck, challenging the preconception that DNA is somehow inalterable.”

“Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California have created the first synthetic life forms, constructed with the goal of passing on an extended genetic code to succeeding generations.”

via Synthetic Life Forms Created In The Lab | American News.

Armed Drones every country 10 years – Defense One


Armed drones are the future for America including many other countries in the world. Civil disobedience will be challenged by not only an armed police force but armed drones circling high overhead that will be resistant to angry citizens defying a suppressive government. China will play an important part in their distribution. The United Kingdom, China, and perhaps Iran have them. China is exporting them to Saudi Arabia since it is not illegal to export them unless they are used to attack another country. Other countries known to be developing them are South Africa and India.

According to Peter Singer, Brookings fellow and author of Wired For War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century. “You could soon have U.S. and Chinese made drones striking in the same region,” he noted.

Once the technology of armed drones is more widespread there will be a wide price range to choose from, starting with the most basic models up to the more advanced. Many other countries are interested in the more autonomous armed drones that can take off and land on their own accord. Some experts are skeptical of autonomous drones but Peter Singer disagrees, “As you talk about this moving forward, the drones that are sold and used are remotely piloted to be more and more autonomous. As the technology becomes more advanced it becomes easier for people to use.”

There is an important piece of international policy in place known as the Missile Technology Control Regime that most countries have signed with the exception of China. Without China’s signatory on this important international policy we could be facing a world awash in armed drone technology.





“Armed aerial drones will be used for targeted killings, terrorism and the government suppression of civil unrest.”

via Every Country Will Have Armed Drones Within Ten Years – Defense One.