Monday, December 31, 2018

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Spacecraft hurtles toward world beyond Pluto..... Sending back photos New Year's day

Space Beyond Pluto
This illustration provided by NASA shows the New Horizons spacecraft. NASA launched the probe in 2006; it's about the size of a baby grand piano. NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is set to fly past the mysterious object nicknamed Ultima Thule at 12:33 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019.
LAUREL, Md. (AP) — The NASA spacecraft that yielded the first close-up views of Pluto hurtled toward a New Year’s Day rendezvous with a tiny, icy world a billion miles farther out, in what would make it the most distant cosmic body ever explored by humankind.
New Horizons was on course to fly past the mysterious, ancient object nicknamed Ultima Thule at 12:33 a.m. Tuesday. The close encounter comes 3½ years after the spacecraft swung past Pluto.
This time, the drama was set to unfold more than 4 billion miles (6.5 billion kilometers) from Earth, so far away that it will be 10 hours before flight controllers at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel find out whether the probe survived the flyby.
A few black-and-white pictures of Ultima Thule might be available following that official confirmation, but the highly anticipated close-ups won’t be ready until Wednesday or Thursday, in color, it is hoped.
“Today is the day we explore worlds farther than ever in history!! EVER,” tweeted the project’s lead scientist, Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute.
He called it an auspicious beginning to 2019, which will mark the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s footsteps on the moon in July 1969.
“Ultima Thule is 17,000 times as far away as the ‘giant leap’ of Apollo’s lunar missions,” Stern noted in an opinion piece in The New York Times.
New Horizons, which is the size of a baby grand piano and part of an $800 million mission, was expected to hurtle to within 2,200 miles (3,500 kilometers) of Ultima Thule, considerably closer than the Pluto encounter of 2015.
Its seven science instruments were to continue collecting data for four hours after the flyby. Then the spacecraft was to turn briefly toward Earth to transmit word of its success. It takes over six hours for radio signals to reach Earth from that far away.

Scientists believe there should be no rings or moons around Ultima Thule that might endanger New Horizons. Traveling at 31,500 mph (50,700 kph), the spacecraft could easily be knocked out by a rice-size particle. It’s a tougher encounter than at Pluto because of the distance and the considerable unknowns, and because the spacecraft is older now.
“I can’t promise you success. We are straining the capabilities of this spacecraft,” Stern said at a news conference Monday. “By tomorrow, we’ll know how we did. So stay tuned. There are no second chances for New Horizons.” The risk added to the excitement.

Queen guitarist Brian May, who also happens to be an astrophysicist, joined the team at Johns Hopkins with plans to present around midnight the cosmic premiere of a song he wrote for the big event.
“There’s nothing more exciting in the world of exploration than going to a place about which we know nothing,” May said.
Despite the government shutdown, several NASA scientists and other employees showed up at Johns Hopkins as private citizens, unwilling to miss the historic event.

Ultima Thule was unknown until 2014, eight years after New Horizons departed Earth. It was discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope and added to New Horizons’ itinerary. Deep inside the so-called Kuiper Belt, a frigid expanse beyond Neptune that is also known as the Twilight Zone, Ultima Thule is believed to date back 4.5 billion years to the formation of our solar system. As such, it is “probably the best time capsule we’ve ever had for understanding the birth of our solar system and the planets in it,” Stern said.
In classic and medieval literature, Thule was the most distant, northernmost place beyond the known world.

Scientists suspect Ultima Thule is a single object no more than 20 miles (32 kilometers) long, though there’s a chance it could prove to be two smaller bodies orbiting each other or connected by a slender neck. It is thought to be potato-shaped and dark-colored with a touch of red, possibly from being zapped by cosmic rays for eons.
The exact shape and composition won’t be known until Ultima Thule starts sending back data in a process expected to last almost two years.
“Who knows what we might find? ... Anything’s possible out there in this very unknown region,” said John Spencer, a deputy project scientist from Southwest Research Institute. “We’ll find out soon enough.”

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Happy New Year Jeannie & Brian

Happy New Year  to the sweetest  people  around  , may this year  be  most wonderful . Check out the  secret place  , you  will like it .
Love  NEE
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Hallelujah - Canadian Tenors get surprise of their lives


Monday, December 24, 2018

US shutdown could stretch into January .... and four more crises

A sign is displayed at the National Archives building that is closed because of a US government shutdown in Washington, DC, on December 22, 2018
The National Archives building in Washington has been shut down by the dispute

A partial US government shutdown over budget spending could continue right up to the opening of the next Congress on 3 January, a Trump aide has said.
The shutdown began at midnight Friday after opposition Democrats resisted President Donald Trump's demand for $5bn for his Mexico border wall. Mr Trump's acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, suggested Democrats were "beholden" to their left wing. A Democratic senator said his party opposed any funding for the wall.
"That's correct," Sen Jeff Merkley told an ABC news interviewer when asked if his party was not going to approve any money for the Trump administration's project. "None."
Earlier, the party offered a sum of $1.3bn for border security. Mr Trump himself took to Twitter on Sunday to defend his plans for the border with Mexico.


"It's very possible that this shutdown will go beyond the 28th and into the new Congress," Mr Trump's acting chief of staff told ABC. "This is what Washington looks like when you have a president who refuses to sort of go along to get along."
In a separate interview for Fox News, he said he was waiting to hear from Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer about a new Republican offer, without specifying the sum. Speaking to ABC's This Week program, Sen Merkley said a "30-foot concrete wall" and "30-foot steel spikes" were "not the smart way".

Why can't Trump get his budget passed

His Republican Party controls both chambers of the outgoing Congress and the budget was indeed passed by the House on Thursday by 217 votes to 185. However, he needs to find 60 votes in the 100-seat Senate, where the Republicans currently have 51, so he needs to enlist the support of Democrats there. 

How is the shutdown playing out?

Nine of 15 federal departments, including State, Homeland Security, Transportation, Agriculture and Justice began partially shutting down after funding for them lapsed at midnight Saturday. Hundreds of thousands of federal employees will have to work unpaid or are furloughed, a kind of temporary leave.
In practice, this means that:
  • Customs and border staff will keep working, although their pay will be delayed. Airports will continue operating.
  • About 80% of National Parks employees will be sent home, and parks could close - although some may stay open with limited staff and facilities.
  • About 90% of housing department workers will take unpaid leave, which could delay loan processing and approvals.
  • Most of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will be sent on unpaid leave, including those who assist taxpayers with queries.
  • The Food and Drug Administration will pause routine inspections but "continue vital activities".
The remaining 75% of the federal government is fully funded until September 2019 - so the defence, veterans affairs, labour and education departments are not affected.

What happens next?

The current Congress reassembles on Thursday after the Christmas holiday. On 3 January, new members of Congress will be sworn in, having been elected in November's mid-term elections. From that point, Democrats will enjoy a majority in the House of Representatives. Mr Trump has said the shutdown could last a "very long time".

Donald Trump folds his arms

Review  of 5 Big Crises in a Head Spinning, Mind Boggling, Chaotic Week

Here's a look at the crises - plural - that have unfolded in the past few days.
Most, if not all, are of the president's own making. Mr Trump campaigned as a disrupter, and this week has been disruption in the extreme.

The shutdown fight

At the end of last week it appeared that Congress was on a glide path toward avoiding a partial shutdown of the federal government.
Then, on Thursday, everything went haywire. After the White House had signalled it would support the stopgap funding measure, hard-core conservative media outlets and politicians demanded the president draw a line in the sand over building his much-promised border wall.
Mr Trump abruptly changed course, announcing that "any measure that funds the government must include border security". The fact he's stopped calling for a wall and instead asked for border security and "metal slats" - fencing - is a concession that might have meant something if it was made weeks ago, and not under the shadow of a shutdown.
The House of Representatives seems solidly behind including wall funding in any bill. But the Senate, with only 51 Republicans and unified Democratic opposition, is well short of the 60 votes needed to agree to such a measure. And if enough House members change their mind, there's always the chance that the president will veto a stopgap bill without any funding for the wall.
The dynamic changes considerably on 3 January, when Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats take over the House.
At that point, the door slams shut on wall funding ever being approved in the House. The Senate may very well acquiesce to a new wall-free spending bill and the president becomes the final roadblock.
Trump fears the disapproval of his base more than he regrets putting hundreds of thousands of  gov't employees out of work for an indefinite period.

The great withdrawal

If Mr Trump's pivot on budget funding was surprising, his unexpected announcement that he's pulling the 2,000 US troops out of Syria - and reports of plans for thousands more coming home from Afghanistan - was an electric shock through the US foreign policy establishment.
The fact that the president, who campaigned in part on drawing down US involvement obligations abroad, might contemplate such a move is not unexpected. The manner in which the announcement was made, with little apparent consultation with senior government officials or US allies abroad, is the primary source of upheaval - and the cause for concern among even those who might otherwise support the decision.
Then came the exclamatory punctuation mark at the end of the drawdown drama. Defence Secretary James Mattis, perhaps the most universally respected member of Mr Trump's Cabinet, announced he was resigning because of differences of opinion he has with the president. In his announcement, he offered full-throated support for the US alliance structure and a warning that the US must serve as a counterweight to authoritarian rivals.
Then came his parting shot.
"Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defence whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position," he wrote.
It was one of the most direct suggestions of disapproval from any of Mr Trump's ever-expanding list of former advisers and Cabinet secretaries.
All of this raises the question, why did the president act now? There has been some speculation that it may be tied the budget fight over the Mexican border wall. If people tell the president there's not enough money, then he'll reduce US commitments abroad. Others have suggested the move was a distraction in the midst of an unpleasant news cycle. Or perhaps it was a move to placate Turkey or - an evergreen explanation - Russia.
In the past, Republican politicians have managed to walk the line between offering tuts of disapproval for presidential actions they don't like, while still voting lockstep for conservative policy priorities.  In the coming days, however, this straddling effort will be tested like never before.

Mueller's circling army

In a recent article in The Atlantic, Benjamin Wittes and Mikhaila Fogel compare Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation of possible Russian ties to the Trump presidential campaign to a siege on a walled city. If the investigation is "a campaign of degradation over a substantial period of time", this week brought a number of new volleys that could hasten the eventual collapse.
There was Michael Flynn's sentencing, in which Mr Trump's former national security adviser admitted in open court that he knowingly lied to the FBI and wasn't tricked or trapped into it. The judge, Emmet Sullivan, then suggested he sold his country out.
Facing the prospect of an angry judge threatening jail time, Flynn's lawyers asked for a sentencing delay - dangling the possibility of more co-operation by Flynn and guaranteeing this portion of the Mueller investigation will stretch on until at least March.Meanwhile, the Senate released two investigations into Russian social media campaigns to influence the 2016 presidential election.  They indicated the scope of the attack was much wider than previously known. The efforts reached hundreds of millions of people on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other services, engaging conservatives and discouraging key voting blocs on the left, all in an attempt to help Mr Trump's presidential bid. The president and his supporters have dismissed evidence of Russian meddling as blame-shifting by Democrats seeking an excuse for their 2016 defeat. With these reports, that becomes a more difficult case to make.
What's still not known is if there are any direct links between the Russians and the Trump team. Rumours swirl of new Mueller indictments on the horizon, however, perhaps of Trump confidant Roger Stone, who had contacts with WikiLeaks, the group that released hacked Democratic documents. Then there's the NBC News report that Mr Mueller could release his findings and conclusions in mid-February - which, although it seems like an eternity in US politics these days, is just two months away. The clock is ticking - providing a possible explanation for Mr Trump's  attitude of late.

A crumbling foundation

There was evidence as early as 2016, thanks in large part to the efforts of the Washington Post's David Fahrenthold, that Donald Trump frequently used his family's charitable foundation - funded in large part by donations from other people - to settle business lawsuits, buy baubles at auctions and, during the presidential campaign, advance his political interests.
Any of this could qualify as "self-dealing" and put the charity's tax status at risk. The controversies swirling around the foundation attracted the attention of the Democrat-run attorney general's office in New York, which launched an investigation. On Tuesday, they negotiated the dismantling of the charity.
Mr Trump and his lawyers explained that they wanted this all along, and that the entire inquiry was the result of "sleazy Democrats". But this is another dark cloud that won't be disappearing anytime soon. Barbara Underwood, in a statement, called the foundation "little more than a chequebook" for the Trumps, with activity that displayed "a shocking pattern of illegality".
What's more, she said, the state would continue to seek millions of dollars in back taxes and fines from the Trump Organization, and sanctions against the president and his three oldest children.
During the 2016 campaign, Mr Trump repeatedly criticized Hillary Clinton and her family's much-larger operating foundation. Two years later, however, it's the president's charity that remains in the headlines.

Dow heading down

Mr Trump has spent much of his presidency touting the seemingly endless ascent of the US stock market.
"The Stock Market just reached an All-Time High during my Administration for the 102nd Time, a presidential record, by far, for less than two years," he tweeted in early October. Politicians who hitch their star to the stock market, however, can be in for a bumpy ride. Since Mr Trump wrote that tweet, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen more than 4,300 points - a 16% decline.
Due to a combination of rising interest rates, the president's trade wars, the impending government shutdown and indications of slower economic growth, the now long-in-the-tooth bull market may be coming to an end. December has seen the biggest market decline since the Great Depression and the largest drop in any month since 2009.
What goes up eventually comes down and the timing may not be good for the president.

Christmas on Mars

A picture of the Korolev crater on Mars released by the European Space Agency
Winter Wonderland at the Korolev Crater at Mars North Pole
A picture of the Korolev crater on Mars, shot as if seen from above
We have our own North Pole where Santa keeps his workshop.  But as these pictures reveal, it's not the only planet with snow scenes this holiday season.
This is the Korolev crater, near the north pole of Mars, as captured by the European Space Agency (ESA)'s Mars Express mission.
The crater is 82km (50 miles) across, and filled with ice 1.8km thick. It was named after rocket engineer and spacecraft designer Sergei Korolev, the architect of the Soviet Union's space program.
The pictures of the crater are shots taken by the Mars Express High Resolution Stereo Camera. The Mars Express mission is the ESA's first venture to another planet. It was launched on June second, 2003, and entered Mars's orbit on Christmas Day that year.  What would Santa look like on Mars? Slightly green, perhaps? Maybe like the Grinch but with facial hair and heavier.
While the Mars Express is filming the very cold Martian North Pole, the Parker Solar Probe, from NASA, is filming the hottest place we know of... our sun.
A streamer, a dense part of the corona, moves away from the Sun (out of view to the left)
Just weeks after making the closest ever flyby of the Sun, Parker Solar Probe is sending back its data.
Included in the observations is this remarkable image of the energetic gas, or plasma, flowing out from the star. The bright dot is actually Mercury. The black dots are repeats of the little world that occur simply because of the way the picture is constructed. Parker's WISPR instrument acquired the vista just 27.2 million km from the surface of the Sun on 8 November. The imager was looking out sideways from behind the probe's thick heat shield.

Artwork: Parker Solar Probe
Parker must always keep its heatshield pointed at the Sun
The Nasa mission was launched back in August to study the mysteries of the Sun's outer atmosphere, or corona.
This region is strangely hotter than the star's "surface", or photosphere. While this can be 6,000 degrees Celsius, the outer atmosphere may reach temperatures of a few million degrees.
The mechanisms that produce this super-heating are not fully understood.  Parker aims to solve the puzzle by passing through the outer atmosphere and directly sampling its particle, magnetic and electric fields.
"We need to go into this region to be able to sample the new plasma, the newly formed material, to be able to see what processes, what physics, is taking place in there," explained Nicola Fox, director of the Heliophysics Division at Nasa.
"We want to understand why there is this temperature inversion, as in - you walk away from a hot star and the atmosphere gets hotter not colder as you would expect."
Not only is Parker breaking records for proximity to the Sun, it is also setting new speed records for a spacecraft. On the recent flyby, it achieved 375,000km/h. The fastest any previous probe managed was about 250,000km/h.
Parker will go quicker still on future close passes of the Sun. The latest science from the mission is being featured at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting - the largest annual gathering of Earth and space scientists.
Like most space junkies, I can't wait to see the pictures.

Parker probe in numbers

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Trump having a temper tantrum

Melania  is looking  for  a babysitter . Send resume  to Oval Office  White  House   DC . Any takers HUH  ???  Hahahahaha!!!
Something  on WAG  .

Friday, December 21, 2018

Thursday, December 20, 2018

A Great Day for 'Shadow'

So quiet  & relaxing ... Surprise on WAG .
Love  BAW

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Chris Matthews predicts Trump could resign ‘in the coming weeks’

HuffPost US      ED  MAZZA       Dec 18th 2018 
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews said Monday that President Donald Trump could resign as part of a deal with special counsel Robert Mueller. 

Matthews said Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump could be the “next dominoes to fall” in the investigation and could face prosecution and possible prison time.

Then, he speculated:

“But what if the prosecutor were to offer the president an alternative. What if he were to say he would let the children walk if the old man does the same? That would mean giving up the presidency in exchange for acquittals all around ― not just for himself, but for all his kids.”

He said Trump may have to take a page out of the book of former Vice President Spiro Agnew, who resigned in 1973 as part of a deal with prosecutors to avoid prison time in a tax evasion case. 

“Leverage the office while you still have it,” Matthews advised. 

“So let’s watch the probable events of the coming weeks bring all this to a breaking point,” he said. “It is going to be historic."
Witchy sez :
Trump will never be impeached.  His ego won't allow it.  Impeachment would mean that they found fault with something he did.  He would never allow or admit that.  On the other hand resigning keeps him in control.  
For the rest of his life he can attack those who impeached him and claim that they were driven by some evil force, and that he was totally innocent.
 I predict Trump Derangement  Syndrome will hit epidemic proportions as the  Republicans  will have a series of uncontrollable meltdowns.
This is where  the Trump  Clan  live

Stay tune : As The Stomach Turns              HeHe

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Christmas now and way back when

Image result for christmas images of people shopping 2018

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Christmas shopping
Black Friday 2018
Slide 61 of 62: When it comes to Christmas, some folks love to go all out. We admire this couple's Christmas spirit!
Slide 59 of 62: Patterns galore! We're loving this adorable '90s family. Check out these timeless holiday traditions you should consider adopting this year.
Slide 50 of 62: In the '80s, Cabbage Patch dolls were all the rage. This little girl was lucky enough to have Santa bring her one!
Slide 49 of 62: One of the best parts of the Christmas season? The food! This spread looks amazing! If you're looking to duplicate this casual, fun style yourself, explore our top Christmas appetizer recipes.
Slide 41 of 62: Sometimes Christmas gets the better of you. That's OK! Nothing like a few peppermint treats to cool you down.
Slide 38 of 62: This snapshot is pure '70s perfection. We wouldn't mind recapturing this vibe! Check out our vintage recipes from the '70s worth trying today.
Slide 33 of 62: The '70s brought along some pretty outrageous color combinations. Can you spot the lime green carpeting under this Christmas Day haul?
Slide 32 of 62: St. Nick hadn't visited these boys yet, but we hope he filled their stockings with some tasty treats like these.
Slide 26 of 62: Everything about this Christmas snap has us feeling all kinds of nostalgic. That perfectly decorated tree, the wonderfully '60s toys plus that old tube TV all scream vintage Christmas to us. It has us wanting to mix up one of these delicious vintage desserts, too.
Slide 25 of 62: During the holidays, the kitchen always seems like the busiest room in the house. Looks like it was the same all the way back in 1963. And don't think we're not eyeing up that perfectly golden turkey! We're sure Grandma followed a few of our tips to get a flavorful and juicy bird.
Slide 22 of 62: Matching pajamas on Christmas Day have long been a tradition. This 1960s family took the trend a step further than most, but we love the wild print!
Slide 19 of 62: Too much tinsel? Never! We love this tree's over-the-top decorations.
Slide 17 of 62: Finding the perfect fresh-cut tree has always been a challenge, but it looks like these folks did well for themselves (even if the tree doesn't quite fit inside). When you're back from the tree farm, try stirring up some of our cutest Christmas tree snacks.
Mother with two sons in front of a decorated staircase
I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus
Three girls with a new puppy
Black and white photo of girls lined up for a photo in front of their Christmas tree with stockings in hand
Girl and a boy sitting among opened presents under a Christmas tree
Black and white photo of two women in front of a Christmas tree
Black and white photo of two children reading a book together
Photo of deployed family member beside the Christmas presents
Black and white photo of two kids spelling out "Merry Christmas" with cookies
Black and white photo of a young girl beside a dollhouse
Black and white photo of two men standing in front of a christmas tree
Vintage image of woman posing in front of Christmas tree

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Christmas tree and family 1923
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 Even in 1915, Christmas was a crazy, wonderful time for children, privileged, and not so privileged. You can still feel the magic and excitement in the air, in spite of the fact that Christmas is practically shoved down our throats wherever we go in this era. They start advertising in October and Christmas carols tinkle in malls and shops in November. No matter where you look you are persuaded, cajoled and blackmailed to buy, buy, buy.
However, most of us still feel that lovely Christmasy anticipation  and benevolence. We even greet, as old friends, the neighbors we ignore the rest of the year. The feeling dies the day after the New Year's celebrations and we feel that little let-down because it's all over for another year. A little post Holidays depression that some of us try to drown with the last of the stale egg-nog and then an Alka Seltzer to relieve that bloated feeling that comes with overindulgence.
Ahh, well, we could try and keep the feeling of generosity and good will toward mankind going all year but what an exhausting effort that would be. And we would be bored stiff before January was over.
Apparently we need the stimulation that strife, frustration and aggravation provide us with. So, although the spirit of Christmas may be Saint Nick.... The spirit of 'Right After Christmas' is surely Donald Trump .... Bless his heart.
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