Eideard

Archive for September 6th, 2011

Erupting volcanoes viewed from space

leave a comment »


Click on the photo for lots more

NASA image of Papua New Guinea’s Manam Volcano releasing a thin, faint plume as clouds clustered at the volcano’s summit, taken by The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA,s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite, over Manam island, 8 miles off the coast of mainland Papua New Guinea

About these ads

Written by Ed Campbell

September 6, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Klutzy burglar goes for Darwin Award

leave a comment »

A man found dead in a University District apartment this afternoon apparently was a burglar who broke out a window with his arm, then bled to death after he severed an artery, police said.

Columbus police were called to Apt. C at 119 Chittenden Ave. shortly before 2 p.m. by three Ohio State University roommates who had just returned back to their apartment after a long Labor Day weekend at home.

They came inside to find a man dead in the living room and blood everywhere.

“By all accounts, it looks like a burglary,” said Sgt. Steven Little of the Columbus police homicide squad. Little said it appears the man severed an artery in his arm on glass after he broke out a window in the apartment with his fist…

Police…didn’t release the names of the Ohio State students who live in the apartment. This afternoon, the three men – all seniors at Ohio State – were still talking with police behind crime tape. Little said the men had just moved into the apartment last week.

The sergeant said the burglar had attempted to stem the bleeding by wrapping paper towels from the kitchen around his arm.

Holiday weekends are always a great time to rob students. Or die trying.

Written by Ed Campbell

September 6, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Think bureaucrats just invented some of this crap, yesterday? Apollo astronauts had to go through customs

with 2 comments

Before the ticker tape parades and the inevitable world tour, the triumphant Apollo 11 astronauts were greeted with a more mundane aspect of life on Earth when they splashed down 40 years ago today – going through customs.

Just what did Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins have to declare? Moon rocks, moon dust and other lunar samples, according to the customs form filed at the Honolulu Airport in Hawaii on July 24, 1969 – the day the Apollo 11 crew splashed down in the Pacific Ocean to end their historic moon landing mission.

The customs form is signed by all three Apollo 11 astronauts. They declared their cargo and listed their flight route as starting Cape Kennedy (now Cape Canaveral) in Florida with a stopover on the moon.

It never ends.

Written by Ed Campbell

September 6, 2011 at 2:00 pm

As humans evolved – we had sex with all of our relatives!

leave a comment »

Our species may have bred with a now extinct lineage of humanity before leaving Africa, scientists say.

Although we modern humans are now the only surviving lineage of humanity, others once roamed the Earth, making their way out of Africa before our species did, including the familiar Neanderthals in West Asia and Europe and the newfound Denisovans in East Asia. Genetic analysis of fossils of these extinct lineages has revealed they once interbred with modern humans, unions that may have endowed our lineage with mutations that protected them as we began expanding across the world about 65,000 years ago.

Now researchers analyzing the human genome find evidence that our species hybridized with a hitherto unknown human lineage even before leaving Africa, with approximately 2 percent of contemporary African DNA perhaps coming from this lineage. In comparison, recent estimates suggest that Neanderthal DNA makes up 1 percent to 4 percent of modern Eurasian genomes and Denisovan DNA makes up 4 percent to 6 percent of modern Melanesian genomes.

“We need to modify the standard model of human origins in which a single population transitioned to the anatomically modern state in isolation — a garden of Eden somewhere in Africa — and replaced all other archaic forms both within Africa and outside Africa without interbreeding,” researcher Michael Hammer, a population geneticist at the University of Arizona in Tucson, told LiveScience. “We now need to consider models in which gene flow occurred over time…”

We think there were probably thousands of interbreeding events,” Hammer said. “It happened relatively extensively and regularly.”

I don’t think the “extensive and regular” part is a surprise either. It may upset some boring, straight-laced and narrow-minded pundits; but, evolution doesn’t pay any attention to ideology.

Written by Ed Campbell

September 6, 2011 at 10:00 am

English riots blamed on feral underclass of hardcore offenders

leave a comment »


Remembering three young men murdered by rioting thugs
Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

The justice secretary, Kenneth Clarke, has blamed the riots that swept across England last month on a “broken penal system” that has failed to rehabilitate a group of hardcore offenders he describes as the “criminal classes”…

Writing in the Guardian, Clarke dismisses criticism of the severity of sentences handed down to rioters and said judges had been “getting it about right”. However, he adds that punishment alone was “not enough”.

“It’s not yet been widely recognised, but the hardcore of the rioters were in fact known criminals. Close to three quarters of those aged 18 or over charged with riot offences already had a prior conviction. That is the legacy of a broken penal system – one whose record in preventing reoffending has been straightforwardly dreadful.”

He says: “In my view, the riots can be seen in part as an outburst of outrageous behaviour by the criminal classes – individuals and families familiar with the justice system, who haven’t been changed by their past punishments.”

Clarke uses his intervention to call for the coalition government to adopt a “renewed mission” in response to the riots that addressed an “appalling social deficit”.

His comments will reignite the debate on the causes of the disturbances, which the prime minister, David Cameron, has said “were not about poverty”…I agree.

“There is an urgent need for some rigorous social research which will look, without prejudice, at the causes and the consequences of the recent riots,” Professor Tim Newburn said. “Crucially, it is vital that we speak with those involved in the disturbances and those affected by them to try to understand any lessons for public policy…”

Clarke writes: “The general recipe for a productive member of society is no secret. It has not changed since I was inner-cities minister 25 years ago. It’s about having a job, a strong family, a decent education and beneath it all, an attitude that shares in the values of mainstream society. What is different now is that a growing minority of people in our nation lack all of those things and indeed, have substituted an inflated sense of expectations for a commitment to hard graft.”

Not especially different from what we witness, case by case, incident by separate incident on the nightly news here in New Mexico. The culture of repeat offenders let loose on society time after time – until that day when one or a few commit commit some crime horrific enough to get the attention of politicians and pundits.

When the furor dies down the courts/jails/police revert to being a revolving door.

Written by Ed Campbell

September 6, 2011 at 6:00 am

Former Iceland PM goes on trial for responsibility in 2008 crash

leave a comment »


Daylife/Getty Images used by permission

Former Icelandic Prime Minister Geir Haarde has appeared at a special court on charges of “failures of ministerial responsibility” in his handling of the 2008 financial crisis.

The country’s three main banks collapsed amid economic turmoil.

The failure of Icesave, which hit thousands of savers in the UK and Netherlands, led to a dispute over compensation, which remains unresolved…

The two-hour hearing finished at midday, and a decision is expected within three weeks.

Mr Haarde, who pleaded not guilty, said as he left the courthouse: “My conscience is clear. And now I wait for the result of the court whether it comes in a few weeks or next year with a verdict.”

The hearing was held before the Landsdomur court, a special body to try cabinet ministers, which has never before heard a case.

Public opinion is divided, with some people seeing the trial of Mr Haarde as scapegoating, and others arguing that public accountability is essential following the country’s financial collapse.

Iceland was plunged into a deep recession following the collapse of its three leading banks, including Icesave’s parent company Landsbanki, in autumn 2008.

Mr Haarde, 60, led the Independence Party government at the time…

The charges carry a maximum penalty of two years in prison.

One would expect the defendant in any trial as serious as this to protest its worthiness to be heard. Yet there is sufficient respect for law and justice to have it proceed, treated as a legal proceeding should be dealt with.

Imagine what the carnival would be like if Congress in Obama’s first months had attempted to indict and try Bush – whether for his criminal invasion of Iraq or culpability in the deliberate slacking of regulation and oversight by his administration leading up to the Great Recession.

Clinton’s impeachment for being silly and stupid about sex was rococo enough. Bush accepting, his Oil Patch handlers accepting – the right of the nation to put his incompetence and corruption on trial would still be going on – with no end in sight.

Written by Ed Campbell

September 6, 2011 at 2:00 am

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,798 other followers