Daily Archives: December 18, 2013

NASA technology (78)

Orbital-1 Mission Preps for Launch

NASA – An Orbital Science Corporation Antares rocket is seen on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2013 as it is rolled out to launch Pad-0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, VA. The Antares is scheduled to launch a Cygnus spacecraft on a cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station on Thursday, Dec. 19 at 9:19 p.m. EST. The Orbital-1 mission is Orbital Sciences’ first contracted cargo delivery flight to the space station for NASA. Among the cargo aboard Cygnus set to launch to the space station are science experiments, crew provisions, spare parts and other hardware.

Weather permitting, it may be widely visible along the east coast of the United States.

> Map of Orbital-1 Launch Viewing

Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

There’s No Way to Follow the Money

By Lee Aitken – The so-called “independent expenditure” groups have been “transforming the business of running a political campaign and changing the pecking order of the most coveted jobs,” Businessweek noted.�”With a super-PAC, the opportunity to make money is soaring while the job is getting easier to do.”

Is it any wonder then that many of the biggest players from past elections jumped to the other side of the game in 2012? Or that they imported two money-making techniques perfected in campaign work: shell corporations that put fees and commissions beyond the reach of federal disclosure rules, and “integrated businesses,” set up by staff and advisers to do nuts-and-bolts electioneering?

“Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” more> http://tinyurl.com/kerm3wu

Before You Automate, Contemplate

Factory Automation with industrial robots for ...

Factory Automation with industrial robots for palletizing food products like bread and toast at a bakery in Germany, robotics (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Todd Brun – Faster turnovers, higher line speeds, more throughput, less operator intervention, Big Data, virtualization, “lights out” manufacturing — these are all hot topics in automation circles.

Things to contemplate:

  • Are you thinking outside the box?
  • What functions must your control system deliver?
  • Do you really understand your processes and operations?
  • How can automation support tomorrow’s workforce?
  • Location, location, location
  • Do you leverage what is working well?
  • Is flexibility engineered into your systems?
  • Are you leveraging the available knowledge and skills?

Change is relentless. Change is difficult. Change is sometimes scary. You can’t stop it, but you can embrace it and benefit from it. more> http://tinyurl.com/ohr5362

How Light Affects Individual Atoms


Physics (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Science Daily – The collaborative research, led at the Tyndall National Institute by Prof. Stephen Fahy, is currently using x-ray lasers to investigate how natural vibrations of molecules and solids are excited by intense bursts of light. The x-ray laser generates pulses so short that they can capture a snapshot of the moving atoms in less than a billionth of a billionth of a second, which enables researchers to better understand how individual atoms are affected when light is absorbed.

“Understanding and controlling how light alters the forces between atoms is central to our understanding of photo-chemistry and underpins many areas of energy science, such as photocatalysis.” more> http://tinyurl.com/mp5uobv

North America to Drown in Oil as Mexico Ends Monopoly

By Joe Carroll and Bradley Olson – The flood of North American crude oil is set to become a deluge as Mexico dismantles a 75-year-old barrier to foreign investment in its oil fields.

An influx of Mexican oil would contribute to a glut that is expected to lower the price of Brent crude, the benchmark for more than half the world’s crude that has averaged $108.62 a barrel this year, to as low as $88 a barrel in 2017, based on estimates from analysts in a Bloomberg survey. more> http://tinyurl.com/p5mvj95


CONGRESS WATCH Chaffetz Supports Budget Deal, US Congress FAQ about the Budget, US Congress Chaffetz on House Floor: We need to put limits on GPS tracking, YouTube [VIDEO 1:22] Chaffetz talks Government Surveillance, YouTube [VIDEO 2:02] Chaffetz, Wyden Ask Holder … Continue reading


CONGRESS WATCH Camp Talks with ABC 12 About Stopping Asian Carp, YouTube [VIDEO 1:01] U.S. Rep. Camp talks issues with Midland Chamber, John Kennett, ourmidland.com Related articles Updates from Congressman Dave Camp (blogs.strategygroup.net) Updates from Congressman Dave Camp (blogs.strategygroup.net) Updates … Continue reading