Daily Archives: December 13, 2013

Galactic Views (115)


Crab Nebula, as Seen by Herschel and Hubble

NASA – This image shows a composite view of the Crab nebula, an iconic supernova remnant in our Milky Way galaxy, as viewed by the Herschel Space Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope. Herschel is a European Space Agency (ESA) mission with important NASA contributions, and Hubble is a NASA mission with important ESA contributions.

A wispy and filamentary cloud of gas and dust, the Crab nebula is the remnant of a supernova explosion that was observed by Chinese astronomers in the year 1054.

The image combines Hubble’s view of the nebula at visible wavelengths, obtained using three different filters sensitive to the emission from oxygen and sulphur ions and is shown here in blue. Herschel’s far-infrared image reveals the emission from dust in the nebula and is shown here in red.

While studying the dust content of the Crab nebula with Herschel, a team of astronomers have detected emission lines from argon hydride, a molecular ion containing the noble gas argon. This is the first detection of a noble-gas based compound in space.

The Herschel image is based on data taken with the Photoconductor Array Camera and Spectrometer (PACS) instrument at a wavelength of 70 microns; the Hubble image is based on archival data from the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2).

Image credit: ESA/Herschel/PACS/MESS Key Programme Supernova Remnant Team; NASA, ESA and Allison Loll/Jeff Hester (Arizona State University)

The Fed Doesn’t Really Trust the Banks Either

By Matt Levine – The Fed is having trouble influencing short-term rates because banks are not the seamless transition mechanism you might once have expected. Nobody trusts the banks, so they can’t increase their borrowing in the unsecured market just by raising the price.

Regulation makes the banks so creaky and complicated that they actually don’t want to make risk-free money by borrowing all they can from the fed funds market and lending to the Fed at IOER rates, because it would mess them up for capital or whatever.

Also: Banks are jerks, and keep the spreads wide by borrowing from lenders with “less bargaining power.” more> http://tinyurl.com/mdjtaqt


The case for a six-hour workday

By Lauren Davidson – Today, workers are putting in increasingly more hours€”so much so that the 40-hour week has become a relic of the past.

A shorter workday works particularly well for knowledge workers€”people in creative or professional jobs€”who can work productively for about six hours a day, compared to the eight hours manual laborers can churn out, according to Salon. Unlike machines, humans operate on a cyclical basis, which means our energy and motivation fluctuate in peaks and troughs. Cognitive workers tend to be more focused in the late morning, getting another energy boost in the late afternoon when lung efficiency peaks. more> http://tinyurl.com/m4ta7xc

Updates from SIEMENS

Curtiss-Wright continuously improves electronics production processes
SIEMENS – Consumers all over the world have more product choices than ever before. Electronics manufacturers and suppliers are under tremendous pressure to deliver innovative, high-quality products and components as efficiently as possible while adhering to industry standards.

However, what should they look for in a product lifecycle management (PLM) and digital manufacturing (DM) solution? What are the essentials needed to achieve excellence in electronics manufacturing?

Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing designs and manufactures rugged circuit card assemblies for the military commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) market. The clear leader in this arena, Curtiss-Wright offers the industry’s broadest product set including graphic cards, I/O cards, and digital signal processors used on air, ground and military platforms.

With a Tecnomatix® digital manufacturing solution Curtiss-Wright issues and tracks work orders and takes the extra step of including the information needed for manufacturing (design files, drawings and bills of material), which it accesses from other critical applications. Tecnomatix delivers this information electronically to manufacturing engineers and shop floor personnel, eliminating the labor and paper that used to be required to obtain and distribute these documents. More importantly, production always gets accurate and up-to-date information, preventing costly mistakes and rework. more> http://tinyurl.com/k45p8sq


Welcome to the Internet of Thingies: 61.5% of Web Traffic Is Not Human

By Alexis C. Madrigal – It happened last year for the first time: bot traffic eclipsed human traffic, according to the bot-trackers at Incapsula.

This non-human traffic is search bots, scrapers, hacking tools, and other human impersonators, little pieces of code skittering across the web. You might describe this phenomenon as The Internet of Thingies.

Because bots are not difficult to build. In fact, it’s so simple that a journalist (who has not learned to code) can do it. more> http://tinyurl.com/nfa8u6o

Updates from Congressman Greg Walden


Updates from Senator Dean Heller



CONGRESS WATCH Stabenow-Blunt Excellence in Mental Health Act Adopted as Amendment in Senate Finance Committee, US Senate Senator Stabenow Announces Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits to Help Automakers Create Clean Energy Jobs in Michigan, US Senate