Daily Archives: December 10, 2013

Galactic Views (114)


A Stellar Nursery

NASA – Illuminated by the light of nearby stars, the nebula M-78 exhibits a ghostly appearance in this 10-minute exposure taken with a 6″ refractor at the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia. Located in the constellation of Orion — some1,600 light years from Earth — this reflection nebula is known to contain more than 40 very young stars still in the process of formation. Image Credit: NASA/MSFC/MEO/Bill Cooke

The Big Political Story Of 2016 Will Not Be About Who Replaces Obama


The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic, Author: Mark Levin.

By Ralph Benko – Many Americans feel thwarted by their federal government. Many humanitarian populists, both of left and right see the federal government as out of touch with the “consent of the governed.” It is this consent that the Declaration of Independence cites as the source of government legitimacy.

The Constitution contains within itself a mechanism designed to rectify this very problem.

This provision was inserted at the insistence of liberty-minded Virginia delegate George Mason. The background of its insertion is set forth in a recent article in The American Spectator by one of the most prominent advocates of the Article V state-led amendment process, Mark Meckler. more> http://tinyurl.com/kwrpqb7


New York’s Transit Innovation Led to Disaster and Fears

Cover of "The First Tycoon: The Epic Life...

Cover via Amazon


The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt, Author: T.J. Stiles.

By T.J. Stiles – Explosions, collisions and derailments have shadowed travel in New York since the inception of the transit system two centuries ago and the search for explanations has often tapped into larger fears.

As disasters multiplied, critics blamed an unbridled business culture. In the antebellum era, a risk-taking, competitive spirit swamped the city’s genteel merchant community, and scrappy transportation entrepreneurs pioneered this ethos. more> http://tinyurl.com/ot2sm65

Squeezing transistors really hard generates energy savings

R&D – Tom van Hemert and Ray Hueting of the Univ. of Twente’s MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology have shown that leakage current can be radically reduced by “squeezing” the transistor with a piezoelectric material (which expands or contracts when an electrical charge is applied to it).

In modern microchips, every single transistor is continuously exposed to enormous pressures of up to 10,000 atmospheres. This pressure is sealed in during the manufacturing process, by surrounding the transistors with compressive materials. While this boosts the chip’s processing speed, the leakage current also increases. The use of piezoelectric material means that the transistors are only put under pressure when this is necessary. This can generate considerable savings in terms of energy consumption. more> http://tinyurl.com/nrk5of2

More Mediocrity for American Education

By Michelle Rhee – The stakes are higher than just test scores; it’s about competing in an increasingly global economy. The best jobs-indeed most jobs-will go to the most capable individuals, regardless of geography. Children in Sacramento or Detroit will not be competing for jobs against kids in Memphis or Denver, but in Shanghai and Seoul. That reality is fast approaching.

Perhaps America needs to hit bottom €” 34th out of 34 €” before we’ll truly embrace reform. That’s what happened in Tennessee and Washington, D.C. before politicians embraced change. more> http://tinyurl.com/nzwggbx