Daily Archives: May 16, 2013

Galactic Views (83)

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SPACE WATCH

Black Hole-Powered Jets Plow Into Galaxy

NASA – This composite image of a galaxy illustrates how the intense gravity of a supermassive black hole can be tapped to generate immense power. The image contains X-ray data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory (blue), optical light obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope (gold) and radio waves from the NSF’s Very Large Array (pink).

This multi-wavelength view shows 4C+29.30, a galaxy located some 850 million light years from Earth. The radio emission comes from two jets of particles that are speeding at millions of miles per hour away from a supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy. The estimated mass of the black hole is about 100 million times the mass of our Sun. The ends of the jets show larger areas of radio emission located outside the galaxy.

The X-ray data show a different aspect of this galaxy, tracing the location of hot gas. The bright X-rays in the center of the image mark a pool of million-degree gas around the black hole. Some of this material may eventually be consumed by the black hole, and the magnetized, whirlpool of gas near the black hole could in turn, trigger more output to the radio jet.

Most of the low-energy X-rays from the vicinity of the black hole are absorbed by dust and gas, probably in the shape of a giant doughnut around the black hole. This doughnut, or torus blocks all the optical light produced near the black hole, so astronomers refer to this type of source as a hidden or buried black hole. The optical light seen in the image is from the stars in the galaxy.

Watergate: Are we there yet?

By Suzanne Garment – Bearing in mind the all-purpose scandal caveat — the other shoe may always drop — it looks like what we have in the news is three distinct scandals, each emblematic of a different American political phenomenon.

The Associated Press scandal is the outgrowth of a perennial postwar (we’re talking World War Two) struggle between the press and the national security apparatus. The Internal Revenue Service scandal is a sign of a massive incoherence in the way the country regulates its non-profit groups. And the Benghazi scandal is — well, we’ll see. more> http://tinyurl.com/cq88uqh

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Sour on Europe

By Robert Kahn – Today’s (May 15) Eurozone GDP numbers remind us that Europe remains in a grinding recession; a second-half recovery now looks to be a long shot at best.  The only bright spot comes elsewhere, with news of  a German labor deal that will raise engineering wages by nearly 6 percent over the next 20 months (rebalancing European demand and stimulating German consumption needs more of this).

Notably, the need for jobs dominates other issues on the economic agenda. The mood is particularly bleak in the periphery, reflecting those countries’ economic troubles. more> http://tinyurl.com/bsglppy

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Updates from WordPress

Five Minutes with Philip Arthur Moore
By Lauren Orsini – My favorite ongoing project is _s, or Underscores. It’s a starter theme on which every single Automattic premium theme is built and it was created to both help us do our jobs better and educate the WordPress community on theming best practices. I actively contribute to the project primarily because I strongly believe in developer education and Open Source. It also doesn’t hurt that I get to play with git and GitHub, which is one of my favorite companies in existence.

It’s hard to understand the power of _s unless you see what’s built with it. Further, Ryu, A Simpler Time, and Untitled were all created using _s. more> http://tinyurl.com/d6swnm3

Not in the spirit of Hayek

BOOK REVIEW

Keynes Hayek: The Clash That Defined Modern Economics, Author: Nicholas Wapshott.

By Nicholas Wapshott – Friedrich Hayek has become the patron saint of conservative intellectuals – and with good reason. He went head to head with John Maynard Keynes in 1931 in an effort to stop Keynesianism in its tracks. Hayek failed, but his attempt gave him mythical status among thinkers who deplore big government and central management of the economy.

Hayek became a conservative hero a second time with publication of his Road to Serfdom (pdf)  (1944) that suggested the larger the state sector, the more there was a tendency to tyranny. Many of today’s Hayekians harden up Hayek’s carefully expressed thoughts to declare that all government is potentially despotic, while also ignoring his arguments in favor of governments providing a generous safety net for the less advantaged, including a home for every citizen and universal health care. more> http://tinyurl.com/c3lylpc

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CONGRESS WATCH The Obama Administration is in Trouble, Steve Chabot

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CONGRESS WATCH The IRS form for additional information sent to many tea party-type groups seeking a tax exempt status from the IRS (pdf), US Congress

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CONGRESS WATCH Mac’s Blog, US Congress IRS Political Targeting Scandal – Video Mailbox May 15, 2013, YouTube [VIDEO 3:51]

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CONGRESS WATCH Q&A on Federal Furloughs, US Senate Grassley seeks full accounting from the IRS regarding political targeting, YouTube [VIDEO 2:27] Raising Awareness About Foster Care, US Senate Farm and Nutrition Bill Includes Key Grassley Provisions, US Senate Protecting Whistleblowers, … Continue reading

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CONGRESS WATCH ‘Americans owe more than they make’, YouTube [VIDEO 2:19] Enzi responds to constituent concerns on immigration reform, representing people of opposing views, YouTube [VIDEO 6:33]