Clean Up Your Space, Young Man

More than half a century of sending objects into space has left the Earth surrounded by junk. Bits of long-dead satellites, spent rocket stages and other debris orbit the planet at almost 18,000 mph, each chunk a potential hazard to working satellites or astronauts.

The Swiss have a plan, however. Scientists at the Swiss space centre at EPFL, the federal institute for technology in Lausanne, want to send a “janitor satellite” into orbit, to sweep up debris and permanently remove it from orbit.

The $11 million satellite, called CleanSpace One, could launch within five years, according to EPFL.

Nasa keeps track of 16,000 pieces of orbiting junk that are larger than 10cm (4in) in diameter. There could be more than 500,000 measuring 1cm-10cm and many hundreds of millions smaller ones.

Even a small fragment of debris could severely damage (or even destroy) satellites or other spacecraft that collide with them, creating even more dangerous debris. The International Space Station has to regularly alter its orbit to avoid being hit by large bits of junk.

In February 2009, the US satellite Iridium-33 exploded when it accidentally hit Russia’s long-abandoned Cosmos-2251 satellite.

“It has become essential to be aware of the existence of this debris and the risks that are run by its proliferation,” said Claude Nicollier, an astronaut and EPFL professor.

CleanSpace One would match its trajectory to that of its target using an EPFL-designed ultra-compact motor. When it reaches its target, it will grab the junk with a gripping claw. At speeds of up to 18,000mph, this will not be an easy task, especially if the junk is rotating. CleanSpace One will then head back to Earth and burn up in the atmosphere, along with its attached junk.

For its first mission, EPFL will aim to bring down one of two abandoned Swiss satellites: the Swisscube picosatellite, which was launched into orbit in 2009, or the TIsat, launched in July 2010.

Russia’s planned Mars/moon probe never escaped Earth orbit after its November launch, despite the efforts of Russian and European space agencies. It’s one of the heaviest and most toxic pieces of space junk ever to crash to Earth.

“We want to offer and sell a whole family of ready-made systems, designed as sustainably as possible, that are able to de-orbit several different kinds of satellites,” said Volker Gass, the Swiss space centre’s director, in a statement on the EPFL website.

“Space agencies are increasingly finding it necessary to take into consideration and prepare for the elimination of the stuff they’re sending into space. We want to be the pioneers in this area.”

Attribution: UK Guardian

Joke of the Day

THE HAIRCUT

Blessed are those who can give without remembering, and take without forgetting.
One day a florist went to a barber for a haircut. After the cut, he asked about his bill, and the barber replied, “I cannot accept money from you, I’m doing community service this week.”

The florist was pleased and left the shop.

When the barber went to open his shop the next morning, there was a ‘thank you’ card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door.

Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his bill , the barber again replied, “I cannot accept money from you, I’m doing community service this week.” The cop was happy and left the shop.

The next morning when the barber went to open up, there was a ‘thank you’ card and a dozen donuts waiting for him at his door.

Then a Congressman came in for a haircut, and when he went to pay his bill , the barber again replied, “I can not accept money from you. I’m doing community service this week.”

 The Congressman was very happy and left the shop.

The next morning, when the barber went to open up, there were a dozen Congressmen lined up waiting for a free haircut.
And that, my friends, illustrates the fundamental difference between the citizens of our country and the politicians who run it.

BOTH POLITICIANS AND DIAPERS NEED TO BE CHANGED OFTEN AND FOR THE SAME REASON! 

Attribution: Bev

A Rare Look Inside the Leftist Media

Inside Media Matters: Sources, memos reveal erratic behavior, close coordination with White House and news organizations

by: Tucker Carlson, Vince Coglianese, Alex Pappas and Will Rahn of The Daily Caller

Part One:
David Brock was smoking a cigarette on the roof of his Washington, D.C. office one day in the late fall of 2010 when his assistant and two bodyguards suddenly appeared and whisked him and his colleague Eric Burns down the stairs.

Brock, the head of the liberal nonprofit Media Matters for America, had told friends and co-workers that he feared he was in imminent danger from right-wing assassins and needed a security team to keep him safe.


The threat he faced while smoking on his roof? “Snipers,” a former co-worker recalled.

“He had more security than a Third World dictator,” one employee said, explaining that Brock’s bodyguards would rarely leave his side, even accompanying him to his home in an affluent Washington neighborhood each night where they “stood post” to protect him. “What movement leader has a detail?” asked someone who saw it.

Extensive interviews with a number of Brock’s current and former colleagues at Media Matters, as well as with leaders from across the spectrum of Democratic politics, reveal an organization roiled by its leader’s volatile and erratic behavior and struggles with mental illness, and an office where Brock’s executive assistant carried a handgun to public events in order to defend his boss from unseen threats.

Yet those same interviews, as well as a detailed organizational planning memo obtained by The Daily Caller, also suggest that Media Matters has to a great extent achieved its central goal of influencing the national media.

Founded by Brock in 2004 as a liberal counterweight to “conservative misinformation” in the press, Media Matters has in less than a decade become a powerful player in Democratic politics. The group operates in regular coordination with the highest levels of the Obama White House, as well as with members of Congress and progressive groups around the country. Brock, who collected over $250,000 in salary from Media Matters in 2010, has himself become a major fundraiser on the left. According to an internal memo obtained by TheDC, Media Matters intends to spend nearly $20 million in 2012 to influence news coverage.

Donors have every reason to expect success, as the group’s effect on many news organizations has already been profound. “We were pretty much writing their prime time,” a former Media Matters employee said of the cable channel MSNBC. “But then virtually all the mainstream media was using our stuff.”

The group scored its first significant public coup in 2007 with the firing of host Don Imus from MSNBC. Just before Easter that year, a Media Matters employee recorded Imus’s now-famous attack on the Rutgers women’s basketball team, and immediately recognized its inflammatory potential. The organization swung into action, notifying organizations like the NAACP, the National Association of Black Journalists, and Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, all of which joined the fight.

Over the course of a week, Media Matters mobilized more than 50 people to work full-time adding fuel to the Imus story. Researchers searched the massive Media Matters database for controversial statements Imus had made over the years. The group issued press release after press release. Brock personally called the heads of various liberal activist groups to coordinate a message. By the end of the week, Imus was fired.

Continue to Part Two, where you may read the Entire Article

Or, after reading One & Two, you may choose to read it in small bites (read in order):

Jump to Part Three

Jump to Part Four

Jump to Part Five

Jump to Part Six

Santorum Gets the Ax

Megadeth front man Dave Mustaine is singing a different tune.

The heavy metal legend reported from the Democrat National Convention for MTV News at Madison Square Garden during the 1992 election, but is now slinging his ax for the Republican Party and endorsing former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

“I’m just hoping that whatever is in the White House next year is a Republican,” Mustaine told MusicRadar.com. “I can’t bear to watch what’s happened to our great country. Everybody’s got their head in the sand. Everybody in the industry is like, ‘Oh, Obama’s doing such a great job…’ I don’t think so. Not from what I see.”

Blasting Republican front-runner Mitt Romney for his five sons’ multimillion-dollar trust fund and Newt Gingrich for being “that angry little man,” he says he settled on Santorum.

“Earlier in the election, I was completely oblivious as to who Rick Santorum was, but when the dude went home to be with his daughter when she was sick, that was very commendable,” Mustaine told the music site.

Attribution: NY Daily News

Joke of the Day

A man went to his local Brain Mart to get a brain to complete a study.

There is a sign in the shop window remarking on the quality of professional brains offered at this particular brain store.

The man begins to question the Brain Mart clerk about the cost of these brains.

“How much does the engineer brain cost?”

“Three dollars an ounce.”

“How much does is the programmer’s brain?’

“Four dollars an ounce.”

“How much for lawyer brain?”

“$1,000 an ounce.”

“Why is lawyer brain so much more?”

“Do you know how many lawyers we had to collect to get one ounce of brain?”

Catholics Deal With the Devil

Excerpts from Paul A. Rahe’s article titled: American Catholicism’s Pact With the Devil

One might say that the Catholic Church itself laid the groundwork for the recent firestorm they find themselves embroiled in. I speak, of course, of the battle royal between the Church and the Obama administration over what they claimed to be “Women’s Healthcare”.

Now, just as the whites of today cannot be held to account for slavery, Catholics leaders of today cannot be accountable for their past leaders. Or can they?

It might be instructive to add some historical perspective to this dilemma.

In the burgeoning American republic, the principle of limited government was codified in its purest form in the First Amendment to the Constitution. But it had additional ramifications as well – for the government’s scope was limited also in other ways.

 There were other amendments that made up what we call the Bill of Rights, and many of the states prefaced their constitutions with bills of rights or added them as appendices. These were all intended to limit the scope of the government. They were all designed to protect the right of individuals to life, liberty, the acquisition and possession of property, and the pursuit of happiness as these individuals understood happiness. Put simply, liberty of conscience was part of a larger package.

This is what the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church forgot.

In the 1930s, the majority of the bishops, priests, and nuns sold their souls to the devil, and they did so, as is usual, with the best of intentions.

Due to their concern during the Depression, for the suffering of those out of work and destitute, they wholeheartedly embraced the New Deal. They gloried in the fact that Franklin Delano Roosevelt made Frances Perkins, a devout Anglo-Catholic laywoman who belonged to the Episcopalian Church but retreated on occasion to a Catholic convent, Secretary of Labor and the first member of her sex to be awarded a cabinet post.

They welcomed Social Security, which was her handiwork. They did not stop to ponder whether public provision in this regard would subvert the moral principle that children are responsible for the well being of their parents. They did not stop to consider whether this measure would reduce the incentives for procreation and nourish the temptation to think of sexual intercourse as an indoor sport. They just did not stop to think of any potential consequences.

In the process, the leaders of the American Catholic Church fell prey to that which had long before ensnared a great many mainstream Protestants in the United States. That of the notion that public provision is somehow akin to charity and so they fostered state paternalism and undermined what they professed to teach: that charity is an individual responsibility and that it is appropriate that the laity join together under the leadership of the Church to alleviate the suffering of the poor.

In its place, they helped establish the Machiavellian principle that underpins modern liberalism, the belief that it is our Christian duty to confiscate other people’s money and redistribute it.

At every turn in American politics since that time, you will find the Catholic hierarchy assisting the Democratic Party and promoting the growth of the administrative entitlement state. It did not cross the minds of the hierarchy, that the paternalistic state they had embraced, would someday turn on the Church and seek to dictate how it would conduct its affairs.

The weapon that Barack Obama has directed at the Church was fashioned to a considerable degree by Catholic churchmen. They welcomed Obamacare. They encouraged Senators and Congressmen who professed to be Catholics to vote for it.

The Roman Catholic Church in the United States has lost much of its moral authority.

In 1973, when the Supreme Court made its decision in Roe v. Wade, had the bishops, priests, and nuns screamed bloody murder and declared war, as they have recently done, the decision would have been reversed. Instead, under the leadership of Joseph Bernadin, the Cardinal-Archbishop of Chicago, they asserted that the social teaching of the Church was a “seamless garment,” and they treated abortion as one concern among many.

Here is what Cardinal Bernadin said in the Gannon Lecture at Fordham University that he delivered in 1983:

“Those who defend the right to life of the weakest among us must be equally visible in support of the quality of life of the powerless among us: the old and the young, the hungry and the homeless, the undocumented immigrant and the unemployed worker.

Consistency means that we cannot have it both ways. We cannot urge a compassionate society and vigorous public policy to protect the rights of the unborn and then argue that compassion and significant public programs on behalf of the needy undermine the moral fiber of the society or are beyond the proper scope of governmental responsibility.” 

The truth is that the priests in the United States are far more likely to push the “social justice” agenda of the Church from the pulpit than to instruct the faithful in the evils of abortion.

And there is more. Paul has not once, in the thirteen years of attending mass, heard the argument against contraception articulated from the pulpit, nor has he once heard the argument for chastity articulated. In the face of the sexual revolution, the bishops, priests, and nuns of the American Church have by and large fallen silent. In effect, they have abandoned the moral teaching of the Roman Catholic Church in order to articulate a defense of the administrative entitlements state and its progressive expansion.

Those who seek to create heaven on earth and who, to this end, subvert the liberty of others and embrace the administrative entitlement state will sooner or later become its victims.

A Rock goes for a Walk

What’s so special about a rock rolling across the ground, even on the moon?

One would certainly forgive you for thinking that this solitary boulder on the Moon had recently rolled down a slope, leaving a trail behind it.

The tracks are in almost perfect condition so it appears as though this journey just happened.

However, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) is able to zoom in so closely that it is possible to see craters along the route of the 9-meter (29-1/2 feet) boulder, which is thought to have bounced off the rim of the Schiller crater.

With the high resolution capability of the LROC, scientists were able to work out when they believed the journey took place.

It is thought the boulder actually rolled between 50 and 100 million years ago.

Lunar scientist James Ashley said on the LROC website: “Studies suggest that regolith development from micrometeorite impacts will erase tracks like these over time intervals of tens of millions of years.”

“Eventually it’s track will be erased completely”, added Ashley.

It is not known what might have caused the rock to roll but Ashley has suggested the boulder moved because of impact and that this might have been caused by a direct hit from a meteoroid.

 

Attribution: Daily Mail

Joke of the Day

Once there was a family of skunks who lived in a hollow tree. There were two baby skunks. Their names were In and Out.

Now whenever In went out, Out came in, and whenever Out went out, In came in.
 
If In happened to be in and wanted to go out, he would not go out until Out came in. And if Out happened to be in, and wanted to go out, he would not go out until In came in.
 
One day a big storm blew up, and the mother and father skunks were worried about their children. So they quickly looked around to see whether In was in and Out was out or if Out was in and In was out.
 
Out happened to be in right then. The mother skunk said to Out, “Out, go out and bring In in, please. I’m worried about him.”

Out said, “Sure thing, Mama.” So Out went out, and for the very first time Out and In were out at the same time. Just a minute or two later Out came back in, and In came in behind him.

For the first time in a long time In and Out were in at the same time.

The mother skunk was amazed. “Out, how did you find your brother so quickly?” she asked.

“Oh, Mama, it was easy,” Out said. “In stinked!”

 
Get it? In-stinct. Ok, that was bad.

Greenies on the Run

Three Cheers for James Inhofe, an American hero. Thanks to spearheads like Inhofe, could it be that we may actually be able to beat back these Enviro-Fools?
It appears we’re making progress.

The following video is from December, 2011. It is quite funny to watch these desperate Green Movement pin heads as they throw out their talking points & slogans. The newest one is “Climate Justice”. They’ve even folded in the old 99 vs. the evil 1%. Listen carefully. No facts or evidence, just slogans.

Next we have a short article by John Gizzi at Human Events entitled: Inhofe unveils “the greatest hoax” of climate control from Friday:

After years in the wilderness decrying the scientific argument for climate control (formerly known as climate control), Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) is finding that the tide is turning to his point of view–that climate control is little more than a hoax, and one perpetrated on the world for many years.

In an interview HUMAN EVENTS at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, the ranking Republican on the Senate Environment Committee unveiled his new book, “The Greatest Hoax,” about the lack of truth in the case for climate control.

“Yes, we’re finding that the tide is turning,” Inhofe told us, citing “Climate Gate–the 2010 revelation that much of the evidence produced by scientists to support climate change on earth had been confabulated and was untrue. The Oklahoman said that since the revelation, people who formerly assumed climate change existed have come over to his point of view.

“And much of the international community feels the way [I] do,” said Inhofe, In just the last few weeks, the environment minister in Canada has come out against international agreements on the agreement. Other countries have followed suit.

For Inhofe, the publication of “The Greatest Hoax” puts into print what he has argued against the tide for a long time. Like the author, the book will in arguably be controversial.

And from Tulsa World News:  Ralph Nader has dropped out of efforts to schedule a global-warming debate between U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe and a House Democrat, the Tulsa World learned Thursday.

Katherine Raymond, an assistant to the veteran activist, said Nader is leaving the organization of a debate to Inhofe and Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass.

“Ralph won’t be doing anything further on this, it appears,” Raymond said.

Several weeks ago, Nader issued his debate challenge to Inhofe after the Oklahoma Republican declared victory on the years-long global warming controversy.

Inhofe, who once declared global warming a scientific hoax, quickly accepted Nader’s challenge.

Not much has happened since then.

It was unclear what impact Nader’s decision will have on whether a debate will occur.

Joke of the Day

Mr. Baldwin, the biology teacher called on Mary, “Can you tell me the part of the body that, under the right conditions, expands to six times it’s normal size, and state the conditions.”

Mary gasped and said in a huff, “Why, Mr. Baldwin! That is an inappropriate question and my parents are going to hear of it when I get home!” She sat down, red-faced.

“Susan, can you tell me the answer?” asked Mr. Baldwin

“The pupil of the eye, under dark conditions,” said Susan.

“Correct. Now Mary, I have three things to say to you. First, you have not studied your lesson. Second, you have a dirty mind.

And third, boy are you going to be disappointed someday!”