Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Day three... Democratic National Convention

Australian teens abused in detention center ... Victim speaks out

The methods used on at-risk children in youth detention in the Northern Territory, Australia. The Northern Territory corrections system has reportedly been plagued by accusations of mistreatment of offenders and a run of escapes from custody

A teenager who has become the face of a juvenile detention scandal has thanked Australians for their support. Images of Dylan Voller cuffed to a mechanical restraint chair drew widespread condemnation after they were aired on television.
Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull on Tuesday convened a royal commission to examine treatment of juvenile inmates in the Northern Territory.
In a public letter, Voller said he wanted to make up for his past actions.
"I would just like to thank the whole Australian community for the support you have showed for us boys as well as our families," Voller wrote.
"I would also like to take this opportunity to apologize to the community for my wrongs and I can't wait to get out and make up for them."

Dylan Voller is hooded and strapped into a mechanical restraint chair in March 2015 for almost two hours.
Earlier, the video — recorded by guards on duty — showed Voller had chewed on his mattress and threatened to break his own hand after he was put in the restraint chair.
The use of mechanical restraints was legalized in the Northern Territory in 2016. ( barbaric)

April 7, 2011:
Fourteen-year-old Dylan Voller is being held in isolation after threatening self harm.
Three officers enter the room, grab him by the neck, strip him naked and leave him on the floor. The removal of his clothing is part of the centre's "at risk" procedure.

December 9, 2010:
Thirteen-year-old Voller is on the phone. When he refuses to hand it over, a guard rips the phone off him, knees him and knocks him to the ground.
The officer involved was found not guilty in court.
His casual contract was not renewed but a 2015 report found he was later re-employed at the Alice Springs Youth Detention Centre despite objections from the Professional Standards Command.

 October 20, 2010 :     
Thirteen-year-old Voller is being held in isolation again after threatening to self harm.
He is seen playing with a pack of cards before he is grabbed by the neck, thrown onto a mattress and forcefully stripped naked.
The officer involved was twice found not guilty of aggravated assault.

August 21, 2014:
Thirteen-year-old Voller is held up by his neck and thrown into a cell in the behavioural management unit at Don Dale Youth Detention Centre.
The officer involved was charged but found not guilty of assault. The casual officer's contract was not renewed.

Voller was also one of six children are tear gassed in the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre. They were held in isolation in the Behaviour Management Unit for between six and 17 days before the incident.
 Royal commissions don't do much and they take forever to do it. These conditions will continue to exist. I am shocked and amazed time and again at the barbarism and cruelty of the human race to it's own kind.

Trump takes a few nasty pokes at the Clintons, calls on Russia to hack Hillary's emails and does some back paddling on previous statements

Donald Trump (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

MIAMI — Donald Trump made an extraordinary plea for Russia to help find Hillary Clinton's missing emails. Trump urged Russia to hack Mrs Clinton's email, triggering a wave of criticism — but he hardly stopped there in a scattershot news conference Wednesday that doubled as counter-programming to the ongoing Democratic National Convention.
Among the other items Trump touched upon on the nearly hour-long press conference held at one of his Florida resorts:

Former President Bill Clinton delivered an impassioned speech at the Democratic National Convention praising his wife, Hillary Clinton.
But Trump said that he was disappointed that Bill Clinton's lengthy telling of their life story had left out a portion — presumably his sex scandals.
"He left out the most interesting chapter," said Trump. "I won't get into that -- a chapter that I really waited for -- because it was pretty boring. The chapter that I waited for, I never heard."

Trump said that he has "a real problem" with Hillary Clinton receiving nation security briefings because of the way she mishandled sensitive information during her tenure as secretary of state.
"I don't think it's safe to have Hillary Clinton be briefed on national security because the word will get out," he said, pointing to her use of a private email address and server.
Trump also singled out top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, suggesting that she would share classified information with her husband, former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, who resigned in a sexting scandal. Trump called Weiner "a sleaze ball and a pervert."
He also called for Clinton, who was nominated at her party's convention Tuesday night, to have her first press conference in months.

Trump said that he'd like to see the federal minimum wage increased to "at least" $10.
"The minimum wage has to go up," he told reporters. "But I think that states should really call the shots."
Trump pointed to the fact that different states have dramatically different living costs, noting that in his home state of New York, "You can't buy a hot dog for the money you're talking about."
The move represents a break from his party — and from Trump's past statements. He also says that he'll spur job creation so the minimum wage is "peanuts" compared to what people can make.

Trump is saying his campaign will soon publish a list of countries from which immigrants will need to undergo "extreme vetting" before entering the United States.
"We have people coming in this country with very evil intentions," Trump said. "We cannot let those people come in."
Trump has been hard to pin down on his immigration plan, which he initially framed as a temporary ban on Muslims from entering the United States.
He has now said that people from any country that has been compromised by terrorism would be subject to tougher screening measures. He has not identified the countries but has said it could include traditional U.S. allies like France.

Trump twice misidentified the home state of Hillary Clinton's new running mate, Tim Kaine.
Trump said that Kaine, a senator from Virginia, was from New Jersey.
"Her running mate, Tim Kaine, who by the way, did a terrible job in New Jersey," Trump said at a news conference in Miami. "He was not very popular in New Jersey, and he still isn't."
He was then corrected by an audience member. Why can't people see this guy is a loose cannon who changes his story with the wind direction or according to whatever slander his spin doctors can invent??

Thanx Yahoo

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Trump vs Clinton....Will it end peacefully?

ATLANTA — Hillary Clinton should be in jail. Donald Trump threatens America's very existence....Whaaaat ?
These are not fringe opinions. They are widespread views across the nation's bitter political divide. That means that on Nov. 9, the morning after Election Day, tens of millions of Americans will awaken to the realization that someone they loathe will be the 45th president of the United States.
The dynamics of the race, more ominous than the usual rough-and-tumble of politics, leave many Republicans and Democrats worried that many voters will be unwilling to accept the outcome. That could weaken the new president from the very first day in office. Intense, sustained opposition diminishes a president's political capital and emboldens opposition lawmakers who have to answer to their own supporters.
"Politics has never been genteel ... but generally both parties and their leaders have recognized the legitimacy of the process, and that seems to be fraying," said Republican Steve Schmidt, top strategist for Arizona Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign.
The GOP mood was on display at their national convention, where delegates in Cleveland erupted daily into chants of "Lock her up! Lock her up!" — a reference to Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of state. Clinton was investigated, but not charged.
Clinton's campaign answered with fundraising pitches, telling would-be donors: "We have to stop him." There promises to be plenty of Trump bashing when Democrats convene their convention Monday in Philadelphia.
It's not that the United States hasn't had divisive elections before.
The 2000 race between Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore resulted in a prolonged recount of Florida's votes and ended with a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling that put Bush in the White House.
Chris Lehane, who managed Gore's bid, said as bitter as that was, "it's even more partisan now."
Lehane recalled being on Capitol Hill, preparing for a news conference, when the court issued its ruling that ended Gore's presidential hopes. "I remember I had one of the first Blackberries, and the first message I got (after the decision) was from Gore: 'Do not trash the Supreme Court,'" Lehane said. "He knew how he reacted mattered" for Bush.
Trump has shown a willingness to question election results. He warred with national GOP leaders during his own primary season, and he asserted anew Thursday that Clinton's Democratic victory came only as the result of a "rigged system." As a private citizen, he questioned the legitimacy of Barack Obama's presidency, falsely charging that Obama was not a natural-born citizen and thus ineligible to serve.
Each candidate has declared the other unqualified for the presidency. Trump talks of "crooked Hillary" and says she's a "puppet" of special interests. Clinton calls Trump "temperamentally unfit" for the Oval Office.
Schmidt, the former McCain strategist, noted "half the country is going to be unhappy" after any presidential election. This year, he said, all signs suggest "a very unhealthy number of the half that's unhappy will not regard the legitimately elected president of the United State as legitimate." A cause for demonstrations and riots and just down-right angry citizens.
Neither campaign responded to an Associated Press inquiry asking whether the candidates would commit now to an unequivocal concession upon defeat. And there's no guarantee voters would follow their chosen candidate's lead.
"I could never accept Hillary Clinton as president," said Terry Hardaman, a 38-year-old Republican in Roswell, Georgia. Hardaman got emotional as he noted Clinton's email controversy. "I'm a Marine. Two tours in Iraq. I lost friends there. If any of us had done what she did," he said, his voice trailing off. "And now she wants to be commander in chief?"
Yet in Atlanta, 91-year-old Democrat Howard King compared the national mood and Trump's candidacy, which he described as racially divisive, to the twilight of the Roman Empire. "You read that history, Rome wasn't conquered from the outside," King said. "It fell from within." Asked to contemplate a Trump administration, King laughed. "Donald Trump is a fool," he said. "I can't see him as 'our president.'"

Thursday, July 21, 2016

How is gender affecting the presidential election ?

Hillary Clinton clinched the Democratic Party nomination Monday night.

Gender is set to be a defining issue in this year's US presidential race. Donald Trump recently claimed, "the only thing" Hillary Clinton has got going is the women's card, and the beautiful thing is, women don't like her". Is that true?
Polls suggest the opposite - Hillary Clinton enjoys a lead among female voters of all backgrounds, while she struggles with the blue-collar male vote. It is interesting to examine who women want to win this year's presidential race - Mr Trump or Mrs Clinton, and why their decision will be so crucial to the final result.
“Gender is the single biggest issue in this race,” said Siobhan Bennett, who spent five years as president of the Women’s Campaign Fund, which supports female candidates. “It’s more important than policy. It’s more important than anything. But it’s more subtle, it’s less overt.”
Clinton is now the first female presidential nominee of a major American party. As fortune or misfortune would have it, she is running against the first male nominee who has publicly derided women as pigs and dogs, gleefully rated women on a one-to-ten attractiveness scale and allegedly made women cry while running beauty pageants.

The race will serve as America’s highest-stakes natural experiment in the impact of gender and gender bias in executive politics. Old gender standards may no longer as accepted or as stereotypical as they once were.
" I think we all have questions — probably as many questions as we have hypotheses and answers,” said Kelly Dittmar, a professor at Rutgers University-Camden and scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics.
This is not the America of the early 1980s, when young Hillary Rodham decided to adopt her husband’s last name to appease the traditionalists she worried would doom his run for governor of Arkansas.
Americans claim, these days, that they are ready for a woman in charge: 92 per cent tell Gallup pollsters they would vote for a female president, up from 78 per cent in 1984 and 53 per cent when Clinton was a young feminist graduating from a women’s college in 1969.
Yet they still view candidates through gendered lenses: men are generally assumed to be stronger on security and the economy, women on health care and child care. But there is a vigorous debate among experts about whether or not gender actually affects how people vote in the end.
There is little evidence, for example, that female voters prefer to vote for female candidates. Clinton, attempting to turn the election into a referendum on Trump, may make her case less because women were drawn to her, but more because they were repelled by the male alternative, Trump.
“I don’t think the Democratic candidate being a woman is going to be the thing that explodes the gender gap. I actually think it’s the insanity of the Republican nominee that could explode the gender gap,” said Kathleen Dolan, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee who researches the impact of gender.
Clinton, long the recipient of feminist admiration and antifeminist loathing, was nearly silent about her gender during her failed 2008 campaign. This year, she has made it central to her pitch. Trump has made it central to his criticism, targeting Clinton’s womanhood in ways both explicit (“the only card she has is the women’s card”) and slightly more veiled (“she doesn’t even look presidential”).
Raising Clinton’s looks may be simultaneously demeaning and tactical. In a 2013 study by prominent Democratic pollster Celinda Lake, the mere mention of a hypothetical female candidate’s appearance, whether positive or negative or neutral, was enough to make voters rate her less highly on every other attribute from her effectiveness to her likability.
But the study also found something Bennett called “antithetical to every shred of commonly accepted political wisdom”: if a female candidate responds to the discussion of her looks, her poll numbers generally recover. Bennett said Clinton has been wise to address sexism in high-profile venues like the Jimmy Kimmel show.
“The old advice is to ignore personal attacks for fear of making them larger and higher profiled. ‘When an attack comes your way, the last thing to do is respond.’
Well, when it comes to women, it turns out it’s the first thing you should do,” said Bennett. “And, of course, you do it skillfully and in an informed way, but you do respond.”
Other conventional wisdom may be just as wrong. Dolan has concluded that, believe it or not, there is no proof stereotypes about women actually harm female candidates at the ballot box.
It’s not that voters don’t harbor stereotypes, Dolan said — it’s that “those stereotypes don’t matter when they’re making vote decisions.” Other factors — particularly party loyalty — are far more important in determining their votes.
The U.S. is more polarized by party than at any time in the last 70-plus years. Democratic men and women, Dolan said, will vote for Clinton, Republican men and women for Trump. Anyone who complains that Clinton’s voice is “shrill,” she said, is “pretty unlikely to be voting for her in the first place.”
“Popular culture, reportage, conventional wisdom have just for so long assumed that a candidate’s sex matters. There was always this idea that the presence of a woman just disrupted all of the natural forces that we knew governed elections. And what my data suggests is that it doesn’t.”
Professor Dittmar, who has surveyed dozens of campaign consultants, said the female candidates generally have to work harder to convince voters of their qualifications. Clinton, a former senator, secretary of state and first lady, has no such problem after 25 years in the national spotlight. Recent polls suggest two-thirds of voters think she has the experience needed to be president, while just one third say the same about Trump.
“She’s very individualized in the minds of voters,” Dittmar said. “When we talk generally about gender stereotypes, we’re often talking about cues that voters use when they don’t know a candidate very well.” Clinton is very well known to the American public, young and old.
 Trump has won his nomination, his ticket to the White House, and now the final race between  the female candidate and the male begins in earnest.

Can Trump win the non-white vote ?

Donald Trump might have officially clinched his party’s nomination - but winning the country over could hinge on one key factor - demographics. With America’s population changing, critics say he needs to do much more to broaden his appeal. So can he? Rajini Vaidyanathan has been finding out.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Eternal Night - On Losing my Sight

The earth is an Eden of color and light; red and gold sunsets inspire awe and delight.
The sky is an ageless blue, so bright, you could weep with the beauty it lends to the night.
And still you can thrill to the subtlest hue and wake to each day with wonder anew.

The glow of a flame, a leaf you discover, the glint of jewels, in the eyes of your lover,
The blush of an apple, the glimmer of stars in the vast unknown are all priceless gifts,
Every shadow and tone, every layer of pearl, every grain in a stone.
Be my eyes for a moment; I want you to see the dazzling landscape that is speaking to me.

And to capture it all can be such a yearning; a privileged few are blessed with that burning.
To paint what is true takes a lifetime of learning. I have far, still to go; there's so much I don't know.
To channel the colors that whirl in my brain to flow through my fingers is rapture and pain,   
And giving life to a vision is a joy to attain.
The rich mélange of life is my muse, but the shadows grow closer and I have much to lose.
How bitter to be so enchanted with light, to marvel at every vivid new sight,
And watch the light slowly fade to eternal night.

The Genie

Man unable to speak ... Traumatized by loss of family

A family photo of Sean Copeland, left, and his son Brodie, centre, who were among the victims killed in the terror attack in Nice

Nice attack: Survivor loses six family members as France mourns for victims

People pay tribute to the victims at the site of a deadly truck attack on the famed Promenade des Anglais in Nice, southern France, Saturday, July 16, 2016. French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve says that the truck driver who killed 84 people when he careened into a crowd at a fireworks show was "radicalized very quickly." (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

A man who lost six members of his family in the Nice terror attacks has been left so traumatized he is unable to speak. Christophe Lyon's wife, his adult son, his parents and parents-in-law were all killed on 14 July, when Tunisian-born Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel drove a 19-ton truck into crowds of revelers celebrating Bastille Day in the southern French city.
Mr Lyon, from Longwy, north-eastern France, had travelled to Nice with his wife Veronique, 55, son Michael Pellegrini, 28, and in-laws Francois Locatelli, 82, and Christiane Locatelli, 78 for an eagerly anticipated holiday on the Riviera. His parents Gisele Lyon, 63, and Germain Lyon, 68, also joined the family gathering.
Michael, Christophe's son from a previous relationship, taught economics at a local sixth-form college. A colleague of Michael said he was "overjoyed" to be attending the Bastille Day fireworks display.
Mr Lyon's elderly parents and in-laws were enjoying their retired life and had been looking forward to a family holiday. Germain and Gisele, who were recently retired had taken an extended trip to the Côte d'Azur, spending several days in Marseille before joining their family in Nice Mirro Online reports.
All six died as they were struck by the truck which was driven at high speed for over 100 meters, 'zig-zagging' between the crowd to maximize injury. The truck was "riddled with bullets" as the driver was "neutralized" by police.
At least 84 people were killed in the massacre, among them 10 children, with another 202 were injured – 52 of them seriously. Fifty children were said to have been taken to hospital with some of their relatives still not found.
Islamic State (Isis) claimed responsibility for the truck attack, as French police arrested five people in connection with the massacre.
France has begun three days of mourning as the investigation into the attack that devastated countless lives continues.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Gunman kills three police officers in Louisiana

Mark Wallheiser / Stringer / Getty Images

BATON ROUGE, La. - A former Marine dressed in black and carrying extra ammunition shot and killed three Baton Rouge law enforcement officers Sunday, less than two weeks after a black man was fatally shot by police here in a confrontation that sparked nightly protests that reverberated nationwide.
Three other officers were wounded, one critically. Police said the gunman was killed at the scene.
The shooting less than a mile from police headquarters added to the tensions across the country between the black community and police. Just days earlier, one of the slain officers had posted an emotional Facebook message about the challenges of police work in the current environment.
President Obama urged Americans to tamp down inflammatory words and actions.
"We don't need careless accusations thrown around to score political points or to advance an agenda. We need to temper our words and open our hearts ... all of us," Obama said.
The gunman was identified as Gavin Long of Kansas City. A 29 year old African American who served in the Marines from 2005 to 2010, reaching the rank of sergeant. He deployed to Iraq from June 2008 to January 2009, according to military records.
Although he was believed to be the only person who fired at officers, authorities were investigating whether he had some kind of help.
"We are not ready to say he acted alone," state police spokesman Major Doug Cain said. Two "persons of interest" were detained for questioning in the nearby town of Addis. They were later released without any charges being filed.
While in the military, Long was awarded several medals, including one for good conduct, and received an honourable discharge. His occupational expertise was listed as "data network specialist." The University of Alabama issued a statement saying that Long attended classes for one semester in the spring of 2012. A school spokesman said university police had no interactions with him.
In Kansas City, police officers, some with guns drawn, converged on a house listed as Long's. It was the fourth high-profile deadly encounter in the United States involving police over the past two weeks. In all, the violence has cost the lives of eight officers, including those in Baton Rouge, and two civilians and sparked a national debate over race and policing.
Authorities initially believed that additional assailants might be at large, but hours later said there were no other active shooters. They did not discuss the gunman's motive or any relationship to the wider police conflicts.
The shooting began at a gas station on Airline Highway. According to radio traffic, Baton Rouge police answered a report of a man with an assault rifle and were met by gunfire. For several long minutes, they did not know where it was coming from.
The radio exchanges were made public Sunday by the website Broadcastify.
Nearly 2 1/2 minutes after the first report of an officer getting shot, an officer on the scene is heard saying police do not know the shooter's location.
Almost six minutes pass after the first shots are reported before police say they have determined the shooter's location. About 30 seconds later, someone says shots are still being fired.
The recording lasts about 17 minutes and includes urgent calls for an armoured personnel carrier called a BearCat.
From his window, Joshua Godwin said he saw the suspect, who was dressed in black with a ski mask, combat boots and extra bullets. He appeared to be running "from an altercation." Mike Spring awoke at a nearby house to a sound that he thought was from firecrackers. The noise went on for five to 10 minutes, getting louder.
Of the two officers who survived the shooting, one was hospitalized in critical condition, and the other was in fair condition. Another officer was being treated for non-life-threatening injuries, hospital officials said. Two of the slain officers were from the Baton Rouge Police Department: 32-year-old Montrell Jackson, who had been on the force for a decade, and 41-year-old Matthew Gerald, who had been there for less than a year. The third fatality was Brad Garafola, 45 and a 24-year veteran of the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office.
Jackson, posted his message on Facebook on July 8, just three days after the death of 37-year-old Alton Sterling, a black man killed by white Baton Rouge officers after a scuffle at a convenience store.
In the message, Jackson said he was physically and emotionally tired and complained that while in uniform, he gets nasty looks. When he's out of uniform, he said, some people consider him a threat. A friend of Jackson's family, Erika Green, confirmed the posting, which is no longer on Facebook. A screenshot of the image was circulating widely on the internet.
Police-community relations in Baton Rouge have been especially tense since Sterling's death. The killing was captured on cellphone video. It was followed a day later by the shooting death of another black man in Minnesota, whose girlfriend livestreamed the aftermath of his death on Facebook. The next day, a black gunman in Dallas opened fire on police at a protest about the police shootings, killing five officers and heightening tensions even further.
Thousands of people protested Sterling's death, and Baton Rouge police arrested more than 200 demonstrators. Sterling's nephew condemned the killing of the three Baton Rouge officers. Terrance Carter spoke Sunday to The Associated Press by telephone, saying the family just wants peace.
"My uncle wouldn't want this," Carter said. "He wasn't this type of man. You can't solve violence with violence."

New hope...Common over-the-counter drugs may fight off cancer

Common over‑the‑counter meds show signs of boosting anti‑cancer immunity

Dalhousie Medical School researchers are looking at how Zantac and Peptid AC reduce cancer growth and spread.

Dalhousie Medical Research University, in Nova Scotia, Canada, is investigating how common over-the-counter drugs used for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders might enhance the body's immune system and ability to fight off cancer. 


While a number of medications can modify immune function to enhance anti-cancer immunity, many of them can't be used routinely because of negative side effects. But the Dalhousie team has found two everyday medications—ranitidine and famotidine—that reduce breast cancer growth and metastasis in mouse models.

"The immune system plays an important role in defending against cancer," says Dr. Jean Marshall, professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology and the study's principal investigator. "It can both reduce the incidence of initial tumor development and slow down or prevent cancer spread."

In the general population, ranitidine and famotidine—more commonly known as Zantac and Pepcid AC—are regularly used to treat peptic ulcers and acid reflux. These non-prescription drugs, widely recognized as well tolerated and safe, are also used by cancer patients to ease chemotherapy-related nausea.

"Because cancer patients often take these drugs to reduce chemo side effects, our team of clinical and basic scientists looked at how they impact function of the immune system in breast cancer," says Dr. Marshall. "Our experiments have shown promising results; we found that daily treatment of ranitidine or famotidine inhibited the development and spread of breast tumors in mice."

The next step is to test whether the drugs have a similar effect on other cancers, and if they have the same impact on the human immune system in a project recently funded by the Canadian Cancer Society.

"The outcome of our laboratory studies are exciting, warranting further investigation into their transferability to people," says Dr. Marshall. "Rantidine and famotidine have potential to safely prevent or slow down the development of cancer by boosting the immune response. If similar effects are seen in people, the drugs could aid in effective cancer immunotherapy or cancer prevention in those at high risk of developing the disease."
If these studies continue to be successful it may revolutionize cancer prevention and treatment. And give breast cancer patients real hope.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Juno drops into orbit around jupiter...Sends back first image

Juno's mission is to fly around Jupiter 30 times, gathering imagery and data
The American space agency's new Juno mission to Jupiter has returned its first imagery since going into orbit around the gas giant last week.

The first picture Juno transmitted to earth, as it settled into orbit around Jupiter, shows a sunlit portion of the planet, together with three of its big moons - Io, Europa and Ganymede. The fourth major satellite - Callisto - is out of view.  Juno is currently moving away from Jupiter on a large arc, but will sweep back in during August, enabling its "JunoCam" to take even better images.
At the moment, scientists are just relieved to know that the equipment is in good health after its encounter with Jupiter's harsh radiation environment during the spacecraft's orbit insertion maneuver on 5 July.
The mission team is now turning on all the probe's instruments to check their status.
A period of calibration lies ahead before the serious business of studying Jupiter begins in October. It should be mid-way through that month that a further engine burn puts the spacecraft in a tight, 14-day orbit around the planet. There will then follow a good 30-plus revolutions of the massive world, with many passes getting under 5,000km from its cloud tops.
The image on this page was acquired on Sunday, when Juno was some 4.3 million km from Jupiter. Evident in the picture are the gas giant's coloured atmospheric bands. Unmistakable, also, is the famous Great Red Spot - the colossal storm that has raged on the planet for hundreds of years.
Juno's goal over the next 18 months will be to try to understand what makes Jupiter tick. Scientists plan to use the spacecraft's instruments to sense the planet's deep interior. They think the structure and the chemistry of its insides hold the essential clues to how this giant world formed some four-and-a-half-billion years ago.

Inside Jupiter

  • Jupiter is 11 times wider than Earth and 300 times more massive
  • It takes 12 Earth years to orbit the Sun; a 'day' is 10 hours long
  • In composition it resembles a star; it's mostly hydrogen and helium
  • Under pressure, the hydrogen becomes an electrically conducting fluid
  • This 'metallic hydrogen' is likely the source of the magnetic field
  • Most of the visible cloudtops contain ammonia and hydrogen sulphide
  • Jupiter's 'stripes' are created by strong east-west winds
  • The Great Red Spot is a giant storm vortex twice as wide as Earth
    The really big question is whether or not Jupiter has a solid core. Scientists are champing at the bit to get started analyzing the datastream from Juno.

    How the Universe was formed

    The universe was nothing but a cloud of hydrogen and helium. Slowly, the universe continued to cool and structure begins to present itself within this universal cloud. From small disturbances woven into space-time the galaxies begin to collect, tiny variations in the primordial universe became the web that collected galaxies and gave the cosmos its form.

    These galaxies become distributed along these structures, dancing within their gravitational fields, forming giant tendrils reaching out across the span of eternity.

    Until just a few short decades ago, astronomers thought the universe was static and unchanging, we didn't even know there were other galaxies until the 20th century. The heavens was a place of constancy and uniformity, the stars and planets were always there and they always would be - steady and unchanging. Instead we have learned that the cosmos is a seething cauldron of activity, as alive and vibrant as any one of us.

    Stars are born, shine and explode; stellar winds blow huge storms of gas across interstellar space; black holes devour all they touch; galaxies collide with each other, spraying stars into eternity.

    The universe is far from a static place. As giant stars explode after living out their lives, they stream out the elements of life, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, iron, all the necessary components for planets to form and for life to begin. We are more connected to the universe than we know, the stars are our ascendants (forefathers), we are their progeny. And space-time itself grows larger by the minute.

    Friday, July 08, 2016

    Mom stops kidnapping

    A would-be-kidnapper from California is in custody after a shocking attempt to snatch a toddler from her mother's side in broad daylight. The crime happened about 2:30pm late last week in Victorville, California, while the mother, laden with a baby, was doing some shopping.
    Her older daughter, 4, stood less than two metres away, near the door of the shop.
    This proved enough of a temptation for 24-year-old Terry Ransom. Police say it is Ransom who was captured on CCTV stepping over the threshold of the shop, grabbing the kid roughly by the arm and jerking her out the door.
    The mother, clutching the infant to her chest, bolted after the kidnapper and apparently gave him enough to think about that he lost his grip on the girl.
    As ABC reports, the youngster was badly shaken up but not physically hurt, while Ransom came quietly when the cops picked him up. He was charged with kidnapping and child cruelty after a psychiatric assessment.
    Congratulations to a brave mom.

    Thursday, July 07, 2016

    SIx years is not long enough, Oscar

    Reuters By TJ Strydom and Tanisha Heiberg

    PRETORIA (Reuters) - South African Paralympic gold medalist Oscar Pistorius was sent back to jail for six years on Wednesday for murdering Reeva Steenkamp, less than half the 15 year minimum term sought by prosecutors.
    Pistorius, who fatally shot his girlfriend four times through a toilet door, has already served 12 months in prison for her death. But the original manslaughter conviction was increased to murder by the Supreme Court of Appeal in December.

    Judge Thokozile Masipa, whose sentence at the initial manslaughter trial was criticized by women's groups as too lenient, said she had accepted the defense argument that a lesser punishment was appropriate.
    "Public opinion may be loud and persistent but it can play no role in the decision of this court," Masipa said. "I am of the view that a long term in prison will not serve justice."

    Pistorius, who stood impassively as the sentence was read out, hugged members of his legal team and chatted briefly with his sister Aimee before being led away by police.
    Women's rights groups say Pistorius has received preferential treatment by the justice system compared to non-whites and those without his wealth or international celebrity status. His backers say he did not intend to kill Steenkamp.

    The state and large sections of the South African public had demanded a 15 year jail term, the prescribed minimum term for murder, saying he had shown no remorse for the 2013 killing.
    It was unclear whether the state, which has two weeks to appeal, would accept Wednesday's sentence.
    Pistorius' defense team said he would not appeal and that their client would be able to apply for parole after serving half to two-thirds of the sentence.

    The track star, who had the lower part of his legs amputated when he was a baby, was freed from prison last October after almost a year behind bars. He was to serve the remainder of his five-year term under house arrest at his uncle's house in a wealthy suburb of the capital. Pistorius has been living with his uncle since.

    Steenkamp's father Barry, who in an emotional statement to the sentencing hearings said Pistorius must pay for his crime, declined to comment on the prospects for an appeal.
    "We'll leave that to the state," he told reporters without showing any emotion.

    In her ruling on Wednesday, Masipa said that although the Steenkamps had suffered a great loss, Pistorius' life and career were also in ruins.
    "The life of the accused shall also never be the same. He is a fallen hero and can never be at peace," she said.

    The judge agreed with defense that the Pistorius who shot Steenkamp in the early hours of St Valentine's Day was not the gold medal winning athlete but a vulnerable 1.5m tall man.
    She said that there was no indication at all that the deceased was in an abusive relationship with Pistorius. She also said there was no evidence there had been a row between Pistorius and Steenkamp before her death, as suggested by the prosecution.

    Pistorius says he fired four shots into the toilet door at his luxury Pretoria home in the mistaken belief that an intruder was hiding behind it.
    His defense argued that his disability and mental stress that occurred in the aftermath of the killing should be considered as mitigating circumstances to reduce his sentence.

    Defence lawyer Barry Roux shakes the hand of Barry Steenkamp after the sentence hearing of Olympic a …
    Outside the court, a group of supporters held up placards backing the athlete. One read: "Give Oscar his freedom back please".

    Legal analysts were divided by the ruling in a country beset by high levels of violent crime against women.
    "To reduce from 15 to 6 years in the circumstances of the case seems to me to be unduly generous to Oscar," Paul Hoffman, a lawyer and director of rights group Accountability Now, said.
    "It's quite possible that having invested so much effort in the prosecution ... that (state prosecutor) Gerrie Nel will saddle up again and ride out in an effort to get a bigger sentence," he said.

    Johannesburg-based lawyer Ulrich Roux doubted the state would appeal, saying the judge had delivered a "just sentence, considering that he was convicted with murder with indirect intent."
    But the Women's League of the ruling African National Congress (ANCWL), said the sentence was too soft. 
    "First five years, now six years? She is an embarrassment to the justice system," ANCWL spokeswoman Jacqueline Mofokeng said of Masipa. "It is an insult to women in this country."

    My partner and I agree. We have followed this story from the start, in the interest of learning about justice in South Africa. We have been greatly disappointed at the leniency shown to a celebrity with wealth.  That seems to be a theme everywhere.
    The prison in Pretoria and those in the rest of South Africa are among the most violent and dangerous in the world. There is no leniency shown the prison population  there ( mostly poor black Africans). The act of murder should level the playing field. And Pistorious should treated like any other killer. I have a feeling he would not survive long if he was put in with the general prison population. I am pretty sure he will have a privileged confinement with every comfort and be well protected. Six years is definitely not long enough for taking a life and creating such heart break. And no doubt, he'll be out in three.  Rot in hell Oscar.

    Tuesday, July 05, 2016

    Juno Arrives

    For a second time, NASA has placed a spacecraft into orbit at Jupiter. The spacecraft operated exactly according to plan, and Juno successfully entered orbit at 02:50 today, July 5, 2016, UTC; a further 15 minutes of engine firing beyond that placed Juno into its desired orbit. The actual burn time of 2102 seconds was only 1 second off of the predicted value.
    As of the moment I'm writing this, they hadn't yet downlinked telemetry (or if they did, they haven't told the media); they only received tones from the spacecraft's low- and medium-gain antennae that give the most basic information on spacecraft health. But so far, so good, for everything, and it was a pretty euphoric team at the post-orbit-insertion briefing.
    Below is the JunoCam approach movie, 17 days and about 1500 images covering an entire Callisto orbit.


    Juno Arrives at Jupiter


    NASA's robotic Juno probe began circling the solar system's largest planet tonight (July 4), ending a nearly five-year journey through deep space and becoming the first spacecraft to enter Jupiter orbit since NASA's Galileo mission did so in 1995.
    The milestone came late tonight, as Juno fired its main engine in a crucial 35-minute burn that slowed the probe enough to be captured by Jupiter's powerful gravity. That burn started at 11:18 p.m. EDT (0318 GMT Tuesday) and ended on schedule at 11:53 p.m.


    To Aunt Jeannie : NASA's findings suggest Mars even more Earth-like than previously believed

    June  28th 
    NASA's Curiosity rover has been exploring the Gale Crater on Mars since 2012, and in that time has come up with some astounding discoveries that suggest the Red Planet was somewhat Earth-like in its earlier times. 

    The rover has come through again, this time detecting significant amounts of manganese oxides inside of mineral veins. 

    Said researcher Nina Lanza of New Mexico's Los Alamos National Laboratory, "The only ways on Earth that we know how to make these manganese materials involve atmospheric oxygen or microbes. Now we're seeing manganese oxides on Mars, and we're wondering how the heck these could have formed?" 

    She further notes, "One potential way that oxygen could have gotten into the Martian atmosphere is from the breakdown of water when Mars was losing its magnetic field. It's thought that at this time in Mars' history, water was much more abundant." 

    A combination of that weakened magnetic field, ionizing radiation, and low gravity may have both split the water into its separate elements and rendered the Red Planet incapable of holding onto its hydrogen ions, leaving only the oxygen to linger. 

    Lanza does admit, "It's hard to confirm whether this scenario for Martian atmospheric oxygen actually occurred."
    To Aunt Jeannie 
    This will give you something to  think about until  we return. Our  comment is inside   love you  Jonny and Chris.

    Monday, July 04, 2016

    Are you going to the 'Stampede'

    Billed as “the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth,” the Calgary Stampede officially launches on Friday morning with its big parade featuring co-marshals, Jann Arden and Paul Brandt.
    The singer-songwriting pair were chosen due to this year’s “Year of Music” theme. Starting at 9 a.m. some 4,000 participants, 750 horses and 40 floats will be winding their way through downtown Calgary (in the area between 6th and 3rd Streets S.E. and between 7th and 5th Avenues S.E).
    Residents are looking to party — it’s been a difficult couple of years in the oilpatch including this year’s massive wildfire in Fort McMurray that temporarily shut down the region and oilsands production.

    Calgary’s unemployment rate has soared in 18 months from 4.6 per cent in January 2015 to more than 8 per cent since the spring.
    The Stampede organization had to cut jobs last year after the province slashed its operating budget.
    “The Stampede has been a gathering place for more than 100 years. We have weathered tough economic times and will continue to be a place and time of year where people can celebrate…Calgarians and Albertans are known for their resiliency and spirit,” the Calgary Stampede’s Jennifer Booth told Yahoo Canada News.
    “When we talk about the Stampede Spirit, it extends well past Stampede Park — it encompasses the pancake breakfasts all over the city, Stampede BBQ for communities and organizations, and the spirit that drives people to trade their suit and tie for jeans, boots and a hat!”
    The 10-day rodeo and fairground extravaganza, which began in 1912, could spell a major boost for local businesses. A reminder to newbies: businesses and groups all over the city hold pancake breakfasts for free every morning. According to Stampede statistics, hundreds of thousands pancakes are served at community breakfasts each year.
    "There’s absolutely no question that Stampede is hugely important to our overall business…it's Christmas in July,” Stuart Allan from Calgary’s Bottlescrew Bill’s Pub, told The Canadian Press.
    Booth, the Stampede’s community and public relations expect about 1.1/ 1.2million visitors but hope to top 2012 when attendance hit an all-time high of  nearly a million and a half.
    For those attending the Stampede, here’s an overview of what to expect:
    Rodeo: Daily starting at 1:15 p.m. in Stampede Park, six main events — ladies barrel racing, bareback riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc and bull riding — are featured. It is considered the world’s “richest” rodeo with $2 million in total up for grabs for the victors in the events.
    Grandstand show: Chuckwagon races are run just prior to the big show for each of the nine nights, beginning at 7:45 p.m. Some 36 drivers, supported by their outriders and 216 horses compete for a total of $1.1 million in prizes. Right after each race, the grandstand show begins with plenty of song and dance numbers, acrobatics and finishing off with the kind of fireworks usually saved up for New Year’s Eve.
    The Midway: Every day from 11 a.m. to midnight. Some of the new attractions include the Peking Acrobats who will perform three times a day in the Big Four Building, and on the midway in the Dog Bowl will be the Canine Stars from Colorado who will do six shows daily. Also new is the Adventure Park, which features a climbing wall, axe-throwing and some paintball fun. And right by the Saddledome steps, a high-dive act will be entertaining onlookers four times each day. You might also want to try one of the new games: the Locked Room in which you are thrown into an old-time western jail and given 10 minutes to figure out who framed you for robbery, where the real culprits are hiding and to find the dynamite that will blast you out.

    Food: What’s a Stampede without mini-donuts? Besides that traditional staple, of which about two million(!) are ingested every year, some of the new midway noshes  include: Butter Chicken Fries, Deep Fried Oreo Milkshake, Teriyaki Chicken Perogies, Venison Hot Dog and the Poutine Corn Dog. There’s much more to try, most of it deep-fried, full of fat or sticky-sweet. Bring some Rolaids and Alka Seltzer. Or leave your arteries at home.
    All in all it is a lot of fun...some of it silly and some of it pretty intense. Those cowboys really do have a rough ride and give us a tremendous show. So grab your cowboy hat and visit the Calgary Stampede and help the local folks recover from the trauma and huge personal and business losses created by the Fort McMurray fires.


    Sunday, July 03, 2016

    Trump Hotels Ad - "Don't Blame Us"

    Over the course of Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign, Trump Hotels have experienced a huge decline in bookings. A lot of people just don’t want to stay there because of him. In an effort to get those properties going again, Trump hotels, many of which are not actually owned by Donald Trump, have launched a new image campaign that they hope will help turn things around.