Daily Archives: May 15, 2013

Views from the Solar System (130)


Repairing the Station in Orbit

NASA – Expedition 35 Flight Engineers Chris Cassidy (pictured) and Tom Marshburn (out of frame) completed a spacewalk at 2:14 p.m. EDT May 11, 2013 to inspect and replace a pump controller box on the International Space Station’s far port truss (P6) leaking ammonia coolant. The two NASA astronauts began the 5-hour, 30-minute spacewalk at 8:44 a.m.

A leak of ammonia coolant from the area near or at the location of a Pump and Flow Control Subassembly was detected on Thursday, May 9, prompting engineers and flight controllers to begin plans to support the spacewalk. The device contains the mechanical systems that drive the cooling functions for the port truss.

For all the debt, there’s a shortage of bonds

By Mike Dolan – Debt may be everywhere but there’s a scarcity of bonds.

JPMorgan estimates that the world’s central banks and commercial banks alone now hold some $24 trillion worth of bonds – or 55 percent of the entire $44 trillion universe of government, asset-backed and corporate bonds as captured by Barclays Multiverse Global Bond Index.

What’s more, this bond drought on the investment markets has added to growing concern about a shortage of high quality collateral – typically top-rated bonds – pledged and repledged within the financial system to raise cash. more> http://tinyurl.com/bd569f4

Respect For Trial & Error, & Success

By Alan Nicol – I’m working on a project with a friend of mine and it strikes me how differently we approach the development of our vision. He finds it simpler and quicker to run calculations and probabilities. I prefer to lie out a scenario and try it to see what happens.

It seems that many prefer to find ways to model the problem or the solution and run simulations to arrive at an answer; the minority will prototype, test, and experiment.

Trial-and-error, experimentation, and testing are important tools for developing new solutions and for innovation or product development. more> http://tinyurl.com/cv4yrso

Carnivorous plant throws out “junk” DNA

R&D – Genes make up about 2% of the human genome. The rest consists of a genetic material known as noncoding DNA, and scientists have spent years puzzling over why this material exists in such voluminous quantities.

The clues lie in the genome of the carnivorous bladderwort plant, Utricularia gibba.

It appears that the plant has been busy deleting noncoding “junk” DNA from its genetic material over many generations, the scientists say. This may explain the difference between bladderworts and junk-heavy species like corn and tobacco–and humans. more> http://tinyurl.com/cf7olxg

France Approves Major Labor Reform Package

By Sarah DiLorenzo – France’s parliament has passed a package of significant labor reforms Tuesday (may 14) that the government hopes will help halt rising unemployment and jumpstart the country’s stagnant economy.

One of the main measures of the bill allows companies to temporarily cut workers’ salaries or hours during times of economic difficulty. This measure takes its inspiration from Germany, where furloughs have been credited with allowing companies to weather difficult times without resorting to massive layoffs.

Several measures are also aimed at making it less daunting for employees to change jobs. French contracts are known for the tremendous protections they afford workers and as those benefits increase, the longer an employee stays with a company. While it is frequently noted that these contracts make employers reluctant to hire, they can also make employees more likely to stay put in stable jobs. When no one moves, it becomes harder for the unemployed to find work. more> http://tinyurl.com/a2r6w5d



Library of Congress – S. 649 [113th] Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013 S. 743 [113th] Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 S. 744 [113th] Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act H.R. 933 [113th] Consolidated and Further Continuing … Continue reading


CONGRESS WATCH GOP preparing bill to deny funds for IRS ObamaCare agents, Elise Viebeck, Hill Nevada Sen. Dean Heller: Stop Obamacare money until IRS cleans up its act, Tom Howell Jr., Washington Times The IRS scandal: Who is calling for … Continue reading


CONGRESS WATCH There’s been a lot of troubling news surrounding the Executive Branch in recent days, ConstantContact