Daily Archives: May 23, 2013

Views from the Solar System (133)

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Pavlof Volcano From Station

NASA – Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) photographed this striking view of Pavlof Volcano on May 18, 2013. The oblique perspective from the ISS reveals the three dimensional structure of the ash plume, which is often obscured by the top-down view of most remote sensing satellites.

Situated in the Aleutian Arc about 625 miles (1,000 kilometers) southwest of Anchorage, Pavlof began erupting on May 13, 2013. The volcano jetted lava into the air and spewed an ash cloud 20,000 feet (6,000 meters) high. When photograph ISS036-E-2105 (top) was taken, the space station was about 475 miles south-southeast of the volcano (49.1° North latitude, 157.4° West longitude). The volcanic plume extended southeastward over the North Pacific Ocean.

Additional information/larger images.

Jamie Dimon: Dr Jekyll Or Mr Hyde?

By Steve Denning – JPMorgan is the quintessential example of our big banks, which are enjoying record profits, although their fundamentals remain shaky. They operate in a world of financial instruments that are increasingly focused on making money out of money, disconnected from the real economy. A significant proportion of the profits is based on gambling in the vast derivatives market (with notional value greater than ten times the size of the world economy). In this economy, generating productive wealth by financing the real economy has become a subject of secondary concern. more> http://tinyurl.com/nqetnqj

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Should We Let Wunderkinds Drop Out Of High School?

By Beth J. Harpaz – It’s one thing to say tech geniuses don’t need degrees. After all, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg all dropped out of college.

But now we’ve got David Karp, who doesn’t even have a high school diploma. Karp, 26, founded Tumblr, the online blogging forum, and sold it to Yahoo for $1.1 billion.

What also sets the field apart is that computer programming is not taught at every high school, and even when it is, the most talented students often either “surpass the curriculum or feel it’s not relevant to them,” said Danielle Strachman, program director for the Thiel Fellowship. “They want to move at their own pace.” more> http://tinyurl.com/q5552ab

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Inkjet-printed graphene may open doors to foldable electronics

R&D – Imagine a bendable tablet computer or an electronic newspaper that could fold to fit in a pocket.

The technology for these devices may not be so far off. Northwestern University researchers have recently developed a graphene-based ink that is highly conductive and tolerant to bending.

“Graphene has a unique combination of properties that is ideal for next-generation electronics, including high electrical conductivity, mechanical flexibility, and chemical stability,” said Mark Hersam, professor of materials science and engineering at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. more> http://tinyurl.com/mn7wald

IRS Takes The Fifth, But You Can’t

By Robert W. Wood – IRS and Treasury officials surely don’t like to appear before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA). Who would? But despite all the hoopla and hearings, the IRS scandal just keeps on rolling.

You might think your foreign bank records are purely personal too, especially today. Nope, the government can make you incriminate yourself. Lawyers petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for certiorari, but the Court just said no here. So, some people are being forced to produce bank records that will land them in jail.

Yet you have to admit it presents an interesting juxtaposition. An IRS official can take the Fifth. A taxpayer? more> http://tinyurl.com/povncsh

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CONGRESS WATCH Markup: H.R. 1417, Border Security Results Act of 2013, Committee on Homeland Security/US Congress Chairman McCaul on Fox News on Benghazi and Ft. Hood Attacks, YouTube [VIDEO 4:54] Seven House-Passed Bills President Obama Signed that Repeal or Defund … Continue reading

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CONGRESS WATCH Levin Opening Statement During Hearing on IRS Handling of Tax Exempt Filings, US Congress Rep. Levin Question for IRS: Who knew What, When? US Congress Slaughter Introduces Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act, US Congress Republicans Pass … Continue reading

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CONGRESS WATCH The Plot Thickens, Steve Chabot

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CONGRESS WATCH Inappropriate Criteria Were Used to Identify Tax-Exempt Applications for Review, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (pdf), treasury.gov Boustany Announces Hearing on Internal Revenue Service Operations and the 2012 Tax Return Filing Season, Committee on Ways and Means/US … Continue reading

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CONGRESS WATCH Food Labels, US Senate Gas Price Probe, US Senate [VIDEO 17:51] BP and Shell raided in European commission price-rigging inquiry, US Senate