Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston

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Monday, May 2, 2016

Who's Responsible for the Short-Fingered Vulgarian?


Q:  How could this happen in this country? 

A:  A combination of a compliant MSM and angry voters both of whom are unconcerned with the consequences of promoting a "lizard-brained" huckster with no idea of how to govern. 


From The Huffington Post:



RANKREASON
    1
    YEAH, SURE, IT'S OUR FAULT
    The media’s love of treating politics as a geek show ably set the stage for the God-King of carnival barkers. Trump got metric tons of coverage, and benefited from slow-pitch softball artists like Joe Scarborough who wanted to ride his coattails. As Les Moonves put it, Trump “may not be good for America, but [he’s] damn good for CBS.”
    2
    REALITY TELEVISION
    This is where Trump honed his act and developed all of his best moves. And it’s an entertainment genre to which we’ve all become inured. He’s not here to make friends, and that’s now acceptable.
    3
    REINCE PRIEBUS
    The RNC gravely warned of the need to evolve after 2012, but their chairman became the perfect institutional foil for Trump to rail on. His loyalty pledge idea doomed the GOP before the primary got cooking.
    4
    TEA PARTY
    They worked the establishment GOP’s soft underbelly like a speed bag, paved the way for ethno-nationalism and made nihilism cool again.
    5
    CONGRESS
    Seen Congress’ approval ratings lately? They made it easy for Trump to make the case that Washington was packed with “losers” and “idiots.”
    6
    GIANT MEDIOCRE GOP PRIMARY FIELD
    This was supposed to be the most impressive roster of presidential candidates ever assembled. The very size of their assemblage made them easy to pick off, like a doomed dinner party in an Agatha Christie novel.
    7
    THE CONSULTANT CLASS
    Bush super PAC prexy Mike Murphy was among the many GOP consultants who took donor money more seriously than Trump, holding fire until it was too late. Their Democratic counterparts, believing Trump to be Hillary’s ideal opponent, sat back and watched.
    8
    CARRIERS OF CORPORATE AMERICA
    Trump has made a point of highlighting Carrier Air Conditioning’s decisions to send jobs overseas -- and it’s a good point. Years of putting profit over people have hollowed out the middle class, and they want blood in return.
    9
    FRED TRUMP
    The guy gave Trump a million bucks and told him to go make his way in Manhattan. He may not have been the best role model.
    10
    THE MANHATTAN MERITOCRACY
    That witches' brew of gaudy celebrity, high-pressure real estate development, new new money, win-win-win mentality and ineffectual limousine liberals was the perfect petri dish. This was the first community to welcome Trump into its fold, and he’s still a star of the scene.
Photos: Getty, Associated Press

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sunday Science Blog




The brilliant flash of an exploding star’s shockwave—what astronomers call the “shock breakout” -- is illustrated in this cartoon animation. The animation begins with a view of a red supergiant star that is 500 times bigger and 20,000 brighter than our sun.

When the star’s internal furnace can no longer sustain nuclear fusion its core to collapses under gravity.

A shockwave from the implosion rushes upward through the star’s layers. The shockwave initially breaks through the star’s visible surface as a series of finger-like plasma jets.

Only 20 minute later the full fury of the shockwave reaches the surface and the doomed star blasts apart as a supernova explosion.

This animation is based on photometric observations made by NASA’s Kepler space telescope.

By closely monitoring the star KSN 2011d, located 1.2 billion light-years away, Kepler caught the onset of the early flash and subsequent explosion. 


Understanding the physics of these violent events allows scientists to better understand how the seeds of chemical complexity and life itself have been scattered in space and time in our Milky Way galaxy 


"All heavy elements in the universe come from supernova explosions. For example, all the silver, nickel, and copper in the earth and even in our bodies came from the explosive death throes of stars," said Steve Howell, project scientist for NASA's Kepler and K2 missions at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley. "Life exists because of supernovae."


We are most assuredly star people, made from the heavy elements left over from super novae.