Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #12856 on: Jun 9th, 2015, 08:42am »
GOOD MORNING ALL
The truth is out there
June 09. 2015 4:46AM
By Tom Emery
The people of Illinois take a beating these days, as the state ranks high in corruption and low in budget stability. But in one notable category, Illinois stands among national leaders.
Since 1950, the Land of Lincoln is sixth in the highest number of sightings of unidentified flying objects, the most of any Midwestern state.
With 3,081 reported sightings, Illinois trails only California, Florida, Washington, Texas and New York.
And when it comes to reports in Illinois, Schuyler County leads the pack.
The statistics were revealed in the most extensive release of government UFO files to date. In January, some 136,000 pages of declassified records from Project Blue Book, the renowned Air Force investigation of UFOs, were placed online.
Project Blue Book, based at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio, recorded 12,618 reports of UFOs between 1947 and 1969. Most were easily explained, though 701 still are listed as “unidentified.”
More than ever, Americans are convinced that aliens visit Earth. In 2012, a National Geographic survey revealed that 36 percent of Americans believe in UFOs, with only 17 percent disputing such a notion. The rest – a whopping 47 percent – were undecided. Some 80 percent of those surveyed think the U.S. government has concealed information on UFOs from the public.
The following year, a Huffington Post survey found that 48 percent of American adults were “open to the idea that alien spacecraft are observing our planet,” with 35 percent disagreeing. Men and women were nearly equal in percentage of believers, though political preference apparently influences UFO support. The Huffington survey found that 58 percent of Democrats call themselves believers, compared to 37 percent of Republicans and 47 percent of independents.
Illinois’ high ranking may be attributed to several factors, including relative population. Of the leading 10 states for UFO reports, eight are in the top 10 in population. California, for instance, leads the nation in population with 38.3 million residents, and its 11,092 UFO reports are more than twice the number of the next-highest state.
Water also may be a factor. UFO reports tend to be clustered around large bodies of water, a trait shared by nine of the top 10 states for sightings. With Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River, Illinois has plenty to attract cosmic visitors looking for a scenic vista or a cool drink.
Still, the Illinois county with the highest number of relative sightings is Schuyler County, with 67 sightings per 100,000 population. Perhaps earthlings are not the only ones interested in land prices and crop yields. Or, maybe the extraterrestrials want to check out the fishing at Schuy-Rush Lake.
Winnebago County, in the landlocked Rockford area, is second with 40 per 100,000.
Schuyler County is not the only area locale where UFOs have been reported. On Nov. 19, 2012, an individual was driving home from work and reported “four orange, flowing, non-flickering spheres” on the east edge of Jacksonville. The first of these spheres was allegedly a few hundred feet above the observer’s car.
Separate reports of UFOs in the Jacksonville area also were made on consecutive days on June 28 and 29, 2010.
At least two recent UFO reports in Illinois have garnered national attention. In the early morning hours of Jan. 5, 2000, a string of local police officers on night patrol in neighboring towns reported a well-lit triangular object flying quietly at low altitudes over such locations as Highland, Lebanon, Dupo, Millstadt and O’Fallon. Dubbed the “St. Clair Triangle,” the sighting has been the subject of national television features and multiple investigations by UFO enthusiasts.
On Nov. 7, 2006, mass reports of a lighted, saucer-like phenomena over a concourse of the United Airlines terminal at O’Hare Airport in Chicago set the Windy City abuzz. The alleged craft hovered for several minutes before racing into the sky and leaving what appeared to be a hole in the clouds.
Commercial and military pilots sometimes report strange lights in their airspace, though, as are sightings on the ground, the extraterrestrial possibility of these objects is hotly debated.
Interest in UFOs revives every few years, sometimes with reported sightings. The spike in the post-war era started with reports of alleged UFO wreckage near Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947. However, Roswell was hardly the first alleged UFO incident, as some researchers argue that strange phenomena in the skies is reported in the Bible.
In 1896 and 1897, there was a spate of UFO sightings across the nation, usually of cigar-shaped lighted objects in the sky. On April 17, 1897, reports surfaced of an extraterrestrial vehicle crash near Aurora, Texas, which allegedly resulted in one alien casualty. Closer to home, three men claimed to have seen a cigar-shaped object with some sort of canopy top and oars that landed in a field near Nilwood in Macoupin County, Illinois, a mere two days before the Aurora crash. Whether the incidents are connected is not clear.
Tom Emery is a freelance writer and historical researcher from Carlinville.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #12857 on: Jun 9th, 2015, 08:46am »
8 June 2015
Check out the interactive UFO map to read the details of each UFO report, and in some cases view the photo / video evidence, View interactive map of UFO sightings. http://metrocosm.com/ufo-sightings-ma...
Thanks also to the Mutual UFO Network for allowing me to reproduce images and videos from their website.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #12860 on: Jun 9th, 2015, 7:00pm »
The next time some "black" shape blocks out the stars? Vantablack: A New Material So Dark, You Can't See It
If I were a supervillain, I’d want my name to be Vantablack. Unfortunately, that moniker is already taken, but not by a Hollywood bad guy. No, its owner is even more dark and mysterious: Vantablack is the darkest material ever made.
Created by a British company called Surrey NanoSystems, Vantablack absorbs all but 0.035 percent of visible light. It is grown on sheets of aluminum foil and consists of a bunch of microscopic carbon nanotubes so tightly packed together that light particles can’t escape. "Take one of the hairs on your head,” Ben Jensen, the chief technical officer of Surrey NanoSystems, explains to The Guardian. “Split that hair 10,000 times and one of the strands that you take away is the size of the tubes that we grow."
This new material is so dark, it removes all texture from the surface to which it is applied. Human eyes don’t really know what to make of it. Here’s how Jensen explains what Vantablack does to crumpled aluminum foil: "You expect to see the hills and all you can see … it's like black, like a hole, like there's nothing there. It just looks so strange."
The visual void Vantablack produces reminds me of the Portable Holes from Wile E. Coyote cartoons. Indeed, Stephen Westland, professor of color science and technology at Leeds University, told The Independent that the material is “almost as close to a black hole as we could imagine."
So, why create something so dark? Vantablack will be used to help calibrate space cameras and telescopes. According to Jensen, “it reduces stray-light, improving the ability of sensitive telescopes to see the faintest stars.” And the military will no doubt want to get its hands on Vantablack for stealth operations, but Surrey NanoSystems is keeping quiet about that. It is also coy about disclosing Vantablack’s price, but says it’s “very expensive.”
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #12864 on: Jun 10th, 2015, 10:14am »
GOOD MORNING UFO CASEBOOKERS
Chimpanzees may know when they are right and move to prove it
Date: June 8, 2015 Source: Georgia State University
Chimpanzees are capable of metacognition, or thinking about one's own thinking, and can adjust their behavior accordingly, researchers at Georgia State University, Agnes Scott College, Wofford College and the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York have discovered.
Their findings, published June 6 in the journal Cognition, suggest chimpanzees share with humans the capacity for metacognitive monitoring, which reflects a form of cognitive control that underlies intelligent decision-making across species.
Metacognition occurs when individuals monitor what they know and don't know, when they seek information they need to know and when they respond to a question with high confidence or low confidence. Confidence measures are one clear means of looking at how humans monitor their own knowledge states. Humans can orally report confidence or lack of confidence or even use numerical ratings scales. They also can give confidence ratings through non-verbal behaviors such as shoulder shrugs, hesitations in responses and similar behaviors.
The research team wanted to know if nonhuman animals show similar behavioral indications of confidence and uncertainty. The results suggest chimpanzees show similar behavior to humans, said Dr. Michael Beran, associate director of the Language Research Center at Georgia State.
In the study, three chimpanzees were given a series of computerized tests of their memory. The researchers could manipulate how strong or weak the chimpanzees' memories would be when they completed the test by varying the kinds of things they needed to remember and how long they needed to remember them. After each memory test, there was a short delay before the computer program gave feedback about whether the answer given by the chimpanzees was correct or incorrect.
A few seconds later, if the answer was correct, a food reward was delivered. The critical aspect of this study was that rewards were delivered away from where the chimpanzees worked on the memory test. If the chimpanzees had not moved to that location when rewards were delivered, the rewards were lost and could not be recovered. This meant the chimpanzees had two options after giving an answer to the memory test. They could either wait to hear whether the answer was correct or incorrect, and if correct, they were forced to hurry to the reward delivery location. Or, they could move to the reward location early before any feedback was provided.
The research team, which consisted of Beran, Audrey Parrish and Theodore Evans of Georgia State, Dr. Bonnie Perdue of Agnes Scott College, Sara Futch of Wofford College and Dr. J. David Smith from the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, considered these early movements to the reward area as indications of the chimpanzees' confidence in their responses to the memory test.
"The team's approach was to think about what chimpanzees might naturally do in the wild that requires them to reflect on their knowledge and then act confidently or perhaps hesitate before moving," Beran said.
For example, leaping from one branch to another without hesitation could suggest a chimpanzee knew it would clear the gap between those branches. Or a long, but direct, travel path to a tree with ripe fruit on it could suggest the chimpanzees were confident food would be there. The research team's goal was to create an analogous situation in the laboratory, using computerized tests of memory and confidence.
Across the series of experiments, the chimpanzees consistently showed they monitored the strength of their memories and acted accordingly. They were much more likely to move to the reward area early, before they had any feedback from the computer program, when they gave correct answers than when they gave incorrect ones.
"They did not have to do this," Parrish said. "The computer would always tell them whether they were right or wrong, but by moving early when they knew they were right, they got a head start toward retrieving their reward."
The team concluded that these results, along with others, touch on the idea that chimpanzees share with humans the capacity for metacognitive monitoring. Although this capacity does not mean chimpanzees have the same conscious experiences humans can have when they act metacognitively, it does reflect a form of cognitive control that underlies intelligent decision-making across species. The next step in this research is to explore whether other primate and non-primate species show the same capacities, in addition to studying exactly what kinds of other tests might also prompt the chimpanzees to "go when they know."
The study is supported by the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #12867 on: Jun 11th, 2015, 09:54am »
GOOD MORNING Z & ALL OF OUR CASEBOOKERS
Mapping 90 years of UFO sightings: Fireballs are most commonly seen, while egg-shaped craft are rarer - and Maine is a hotspot
By Sarah Griffiths Published: 12:33 EST, 10 June 2015
This map shows sightings per capita
Some people may roll their eyes at the idea of UFO sightings, while others are certain they have seen alien craft.
Now a data visualisation expert has created a map of the US showing almost 90 years of official UFO sightings, including information such as the time of day they are typically noticed in different months.
The data also reveals that UFO sightings of fireballs are the most common, while egg-shaped craft are the rarest over time.
John Nelson combined census data with statistics compiled between 1925 and 2014 by the National UFO Reporting Centre to make his maps.
‘Of course, as is the case for any observation data, there is a strong tendency towards echoing a population map’ he wrote on his blog.
‘This is certainly the case with this sighting data, as well. In order to visualise the actual sighting phenomenon, I needed to normalise by the underlying population.’
To do this, he created a map showing sightings by population density, as well as maps based on more complex calculations to build the most accurate maps he could.
States where UFO sightings are most common include Maine, Washington, Arizona, Nevada, which happens to include Area 51 and New Mexico - the location of the famous Roswell Incident occurred in 1947.
The US military claimed they recovered a secret research balloon that had crashed, but conspiracy theorists say the wreckage of an alien craft was discovered and hidden.
Mr Nelson also used the data to create a chart showing UFO shape by sightings, as well as the times when alien craft are commonly spotted.
‘Most interesting to me is the variability of our concepts of shape and how they reflect our own changing notions of design and certainty through recent decades,’ he told MailOnline.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #12869 on: Jun 12th, 2015, 10:05am »
MORNIN' Z AND ALL OF OUR WONDERFUL UFOCASEBOOKERS
Space Launch System RS-25 Engine Fires Up for Third Test
Press Release - Source: NASA Posted June 12, 2015 10:50 AM
Four RS-25 engines will power NASA's new rocket, the Space Launch System, at speeds of 17,500 mph -- 73 times faster than the top speeds of an Indianapolis 500 race car -- to send astronauts on future missions beyond Earth's orbit, including to an asteroid and ultimately to Mars.
This is the third firing of an RS-25 development engine on the A-1 test stand at Stennis. The first RS-25 test in this series was conducted Jan. 9, and the second was May 28. Four more tests are planned for the current development engine.
"While we are using proven space shuttle hardware with these engines, SLS will have different performance requirements," said Steve Wofford, manager of the SLS Liquid Engines Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The Marshall Center manages the SLS Program for the agency. "That's why we are testing them again. This is a whole new ballgame -- we need way more power for these engines to be able to go farther than ever before when it comes to human exploration. And we believe the modifications we've made to these engines can do just that."
The first flight test of the SLS -- designated as Exploration Mission 1 -- will feature a configuration for a 70-metric-ton (77-ton) lift capacity and carry an uncrewed Orion spacecraft beyond low-Earth orbit to test the performance of the integrated system.
"We have several objectives that will be accomplished during this test series, which will provide critical data on the new engine controller unit, materials and engine propellant inlet pressure conditions," Wofford added.
The new engine controller unit, the "brain" of the engine, allows communication between the vehicle and the engine, relaying commands to the engine and transmitting data back to the vehicle. The controller also provides closed-loop management of the engine by regulating the thrust and fuel mixture ratio while monitoring the engine's health and status. The controller will use updated hardware and software configured to operate with the new SLS vehicle avionics architecture.
The test series will show how the RS-25 engines will perform with colder liquid oxygen temperatures; greater inlet pressure due to the taller SLS core stage liquid oxygen tank and higher vehicle acceleration; and more nozzle heating due to the four-engine configuration and its position in-plane with the SLS booster exhaust nozzles. New ablative insulation and heaters also will be tested during the series. Aerojet Rocketdyne of Sacramento, California, is the prime contractor for the RS-25 engine work.
As the SLS evolves, it will provide an unprecedented lift capability of 130 metric tons (143 tons) to enable missions even farther into our solar system to places like Mars.