Daily Archives: January 7, 2014

NASA technology (82)

Antares Rocket Rolls Out at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility

NASA – An Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket is seen as it is rolled out to Launch Pad-0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014 in advance of a planned Wednesday, Jan. 8th, 1:32 p.m. EST launch, Wallops Island, Va.

The Antares will launch a Cygnus spacecraft on a cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. 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.

Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Make Those Cows Pay for Their Penicillin

Bloomberg – America’s animals take more drugs than its people do. About 80 percent of the 51 tons of antibiotics consumed each day in the U.S. are used in agriculture and aquaculture.

Such unrestrained use of the drugs may help farmers grow bigger cattle, but it has a drastic side effect: It prods bacteria to evolve defenses, so that the drugs don’t work so well when given to people (or fish or animals, for that matter) suffering from bacterial infections. The loss of these drugs as medical weapons is also astoundingly expensive. more> http://tinyurl.com/mr9oed7

How Home Depot Copied Apple to Build an Ingenious New Bucket

By Joseph Flaherty – Brick-and-mortar retailers have learned a lesson from Apple and are following their vertically integrated approach by developing high-quality, and exclusive, products to remain competitive in the age of Amazon. And they’re learning from another Apple trademark: revisiting product categories filled with bad offerings, and completely rethinking them.

It might be hard to believe, but when the Home Depot was founded in 1978, it was hugely innovative. Floor to ceiling stacks of oriented strand board might lack the panache of 3-D printing, yet both developments had similar effects. Prior to the arrival of these walk-in warehouses, weekend warriors were left with whatever limited selection their local hardware store carried. For two decades, Home Depot founder Bernie Marcus made it his mission to make exotic tools and hard-to-find building materials available to anyone with a pick-up truck. more> http://tinyurl.com/lhee3fw

‘Electrification Factor’ in Transportation

By Ali Emadi – An auto has four different power transfer systems: electrical, mechanical, pneumatic, and hydraulic. Electrical systems, generally, are the most efficient. And they can be monitored and communicated with more effectively than the others, which means they can be optimized and controlled for efficiency and performance.

Electrifying non-propulsion loads raises the electrification factor in modest increments up to perhaps 15 to 20 percent. Electrifying a vehicle’s mode of propulsion produces a much greater electrification factor, reaching as high as 50 to 70 percent in hybrid electric powertrains and near 100 percent in all-electric vehicles. Based on back-of-the-envelope calculations, I’d suggest that the average electrification factor for new vehicles manufactured worldwide today is only about 5 to 10 percent. more> http://tinyurl.com/nfabdjp

Companies turning again to stock buybacks to reward shareholders

By Jia Lynn Yang – This is what U.S. multinationals do now with their cash. Rather than tout big new investments, raise worker wages or hire more employees, companies are more likely to set aside funds to reward shareholders — a trend that took a dip during the recession but has roared back during the recovery.

The 30 companies listed on the Dow Jones industrial average have authorized $211 billion in buybacks in 2013, according to data from ­Birinyi Associates, helping to lift the benchmark stock index to heights not seen since the tech boom of the late 1990s.

By comparison, the amount is nearly three times what the group spent on research and development last year, according to data from S&P Capital IQ. more> http://tinyurl.com/kq6k6pd

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CONGRESS WATCH ORGANIZATIONAL TOOL KIT (pdf), US Congress

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CONGRESS WATCH 2013: Year in Review, YouTube [VIDEO 10:14]

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CONGRESS WATCH A Plan For Jobs & Economic Growth, speaker.gov Rep. Kelly Condemns IRS Targeting of Conservative Groups for Political Beliefs, US Congress Rep. Kelly Presses for Answers from IRS at Ways & Means Hearing, US Congress IN CASE YOU … Continue reading

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CONGRESS WATCH Begich addresses defense spending, ktva.com I Am The Aurora Hunter | INDIE ALASKA, YouTube [VIDEO 6:01]