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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 91796 times)
WingsofCrystal
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3435 on: Mar 24th, 2011, 08:26am »

LA Times

'Captain America' begins to exact his revenge [trailer]

March 23, 2011 | 8:33 pm

The full "Captain America: The First Avenger" trailer hit the Web today. And while it only fleshes out a little more of the summer movie's backstory — Chris Evan's Steve Rogers is the puny victim who joins the army for reasons of toughness, before becoming the super soldier of the title — there's still enough to keep the buzz above the "Green Lantern" line.

The Marvel film has an unusual challenge: it has to satisfy the modern appetite for superhero movies while staying true to the 1940's setting and all we're conditioned to know about it. So far it seems to be dancing the line.

The World War II vibe here is considerably more straight-laced than the last time we saw it in a summer movie, in "Inglourious Basterds." But the Joe Johnston film still manages to convey a sense of rise-of-Hitler importance without skimping on the flashy weaponry, origin story and mysterious villains now common to Marvel movies. (There's also a notable absence of American flags and other jingoism, no doubt a function of the movie's need to travel.)

Comics die-hards may parse each frame for details, but basically the trailer doesn't offer much more than a man becoming a soldier to fight Nazis and other enemies. It does provide the opportunity to watch Tommy Lee Jones bark orders to troops "Fugitive"-style. And the ever-versatile Stanley Tucci gets his Erskine on, even getting off perhaps the first antibiotics joke in the history of summer tent poles.





http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/movies/2011/03/captian-america-first-avenger-trailer-marvel-movie.html

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3436 on: Mar 24th, 2011, 12:18pm »

A Tale of Two Ashtons

A couple going through some of the darkest times of their lives, husband Jim has been facing recurring battles with cancer, hears faint squealing inside a barn and finds a weakening kitten so small it fits on the wife's hand.

Naming him 'Ashton' after a precious young girl who recently died from the disease, the kitten not only survives, but grows into a cooing, megatailed, happy orange tomcat. Article author Loran Watkins now tells of the well-beloved cat:"First Jim saved him, then he saved Jim". Just goes to prove cats are natural therapists...


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Let us be sure that those who come after will say of us in our time, that in our time we did everything that could be done. We finished the race; we kept them free; we kept the faith.

-RONALD REAGAN
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3437 on: Mar 24th, 2011, 12:18pm »

Yahoo news

Siberia plans 'institute to study yetis'
Wed Mar 23, 11:42 am ET

MOSCOW (AFP) – Officials in a Siberian region on Wednesday announced plans to open a scientific institute for researchers to study yetis, despite opposition from academics.

"Organising an institute or a scientific centre would be a logical continuation of research into the yeti," the administration of the Russian coal-mining region of Kemerovo in western Siberia said.

The region will announce its final decision after hosting an international conference on yetis later this year, the statement said, citing the regional government's education and science department.

"The town of Tashtagol will host an international conference with leading experts into hominids. Based on its results, we will take a decision on opening a scientific research institute to study the yeti."

Yetis, or Abominable Snowmen, are hairy ape-like creatures of popular myth, that are generally held to inhabit the Himalayas.

But some believe Russia also holds a population of yetis, which it calls Snow Men, in remote areas of Siberia such as the mountains in the southern part of Kemerovo around Tashtagol.

Kemerovo officials cited yeti researcher Igor Burtsev as saying that around 30 Russian scientists are studying yetis and could work together at the planned institute.

"We think that the yeti is a separate branch of human evolution. It lives in harmony with nature," Burtsev was quoted as saying.

Burtsev earlier told the ITAR-TASS news agency that the institute was planned to open as part of the region's state university.

The university swiftly denied the claim in a statement, saying that "studying yetis is not among the research interests of the scientific teams at Kemerovo State University".

The Kemerovo region has used its reputation for sightings of yetis to promote tourism. It holds an annual Yeti Day and this year it will run an ice sculpture competition called "In the World of the Yeti".


http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110323/sc_afp/russiascienceoffbeat_20110323154207

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« Reply #3438 on: Mar 24th, 2011, 5:32pm »

on Mar 24th, 2011, 12:18pm, purr wrote:
A Tale of Two Ashtons

A couple going through some of the darkest times of their lives, husband Jim has been facing recurring battles with cancer, hears faint squealing inside a barn and finds a weakening kitten so small it fits on the wife's hand.

Naming him 'Ashton' after a precious young girl who recently died from the disease, the kitten not only survives, but grows into a cooing, megatailed, happy orange tomcat. Article author Loran Watkins now tells of the well-beloved cat:"First Jim saved him, then he saved Jim". Just goes to prove cats are natural therapists...


purr


Hi Purr,
That does prove that cats are therapeutic. Thank you.
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« Reply #3439 on: Mar 24th, 2011, 5:35pm »

Wired

Anthrax Redux: FBI Admits to Holes in Its Biggest Case Ever
By Noah Shachtman
March 24, 2011 | 4:40 pm
Wired April 2011


Finally, the investigation was over. The riddle solved. On August 18, 2008—after almost seven years, nearly 10,000 interviews, and millions of dollars spent developing a whole new form of microbial forensics—some of the FBI’s top brass filed into a dimly lit, flag-lined room in the bureau’s Washington, DC, headquarters. They were there to lay out the evidence proving who was responsible for the anthrax attacks that had terrified the nation in the fall of 2001.

It had been the most expensive, and arguably the toughest, case in FBI history, the assembled reporters were told. But the facts showed that Army biodefense researcher Bruce Ivins was the person responsible for killing five people and sickening 17 others in those frightening weeks after 9/11. It was Ivins, they were now certain, who had mailed the anthrax-filled letters that exposed as many as 30,000 people to the lethal spores.

The FBI unraveled the mystery, officials said, thanks in part to the microbiologists seated at a U-shaped table in the front of the room. Among them was Paul Keim, who first identified the anthrax strain used in the attacks, and genetic specialist Claire Fraser-Liggett, who led the team that sequenced the DNA of the anthrax in the letters, tracing the spores back to their genetic match: a flask of superconcentrated, ultrapure anthrax held by Ivins. Several of the researchers at the table had previously counted Ivins as a peer and even a friend. Now they were helping brand him a monster.

Between the officials and the scientists, it was a convincing display. It had to be. Ivins had killed himself three weeks earlier. There would be no arrest, no trial, no sentencing. Absent a courtroom and a verdict to provide a sense of finality or some measure of catharsis, all the FBI could do was present its findings and declare the case closed.

No one involved that day expressed any doubt about Ivins’ guilt. But things are not always as clear-cut as they may seem in an FBI presentation. Two years later, sitting in her office overlooking West Baltimore, Fraser-Liggett concedes she has reservations. “There are still some holes,” she says, staring out her window in discomfort. Nearly 2,000 miles away in Flagstaff, Arizona, Keim has his own concerns. “I don’t know if Ivins sent the letters,” he says with a hint of both irritation and sadness. Even agent Edward Montooth, who ran the FBI’s hunt for the anthrax killer, says that—while he’s still convinced Ivins was the mailer—he’s unsure of many things, from Ivins’ motivation to when he brewed up the lethal spores. “We still have a difficult time nailing down the time frame,” he says. “We don’t know when he made or dried the spores.” In other words, it’s been 10 years since the deadliest biological terror attack in US history launched a manhunt that ruined one scientist’s reputation and saw a second driven to suicide, yet nagging problems remain. Problems that add up to an unsettling reality: Despite the FBI’s assurances, it’s not at all certain that the government could have ever convicted Ivins of a crime.

It took weeks for anyone to realize the attacks were even happening. When Robert Stevens, a photo editor at the Sun tabloid, came down with chills while on vacation in North Carolina on September 29, 2001, neither he nor his wife figured it was a big deal. She went to spend the afternoon with their daughter; he rested on the couch. As Stevens lay there, thousands of spores were filling his lungs. Nestled in the respiratory sacs, the particles slowly came in contact with white blood cells called macrophages, which carried the bacteria into the lymph nodes in the central cavity of his chest. There, the spores began to germinate, shedding their tough outer layer and multiplying relentlessly. The bacteria unleashed two types of toxins into Stevens’ bloodstream. One caused a fluid buildup in his central chest cavity, which squeezed his heart and shoved his lungs against his ribs, making it difficult to breathe. The other began killing off Stevens’ macrophages, decimating his body’s natural defenses.

Two days later, Stevens was feverish, short of breath, and red in the face. He and his wife started driving back to their home in Florida, with Stevens sweating in his seat. When they got there, Stevens’ wife took him, nearly incoherent now, to the hospital. On October 4, he tested positive for anthrax. He died the next day.

Both medical and public officials figured it was a freak but natural occurrence, maybe something Stevens picked up on a hike in the Carolina woods. Because anthrax was known as a potential biological warfare agent, the case grabbed national attention, but there seemed no reason to panic. “It looks like it’s a very isolated incident,” President George W. Bush told the country on October 9.

Three days later, an anthrax-loaded letter was found at NBC News headquarters. A week after that, the FBI recovered an identical-looking spore-laden letter from the offices of the New York Post. “09-11-01,” the letters read. “this is next / take penacilin now / death to america / death to israel / allah is great.“

By mid-October, four more people had been diagnosed with anthrax, and Leroy Richmond, a postal worker at the Brentwood Road mail facility in Washington, DC, was doing his best to convince his coworkers to relax. Mail handlers had little to fear as long as they took precautions, according to talking points distributed by the government, which Richmond read aloud to several fellow mail room employees. Bacillus anthracis will appear as a white powder that you should keep away from your face. So be careful, but keep doing your jobs, Richmond told his coworkers as he wiped away a sniffle. Everything is going to be just fine.

more after the jump
http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/03/ff_anthrax_fbi/all/1

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« Reply #3440 on: Mar 24th, 2011, 7:42pm »




Please be an angel



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« Reply #3441 on: Mar 24th, 2011, 7:48pm »

Russian aurora:

http://www.wimp.com/largeaurora/
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« Reply #3442 on: Mar 24th, 2011, 8:34pm »

on Mar 24th, 2011, 7:48pm, Swamprat wrote:
Russian aurora:

http://www.wimp.com/largeaurora/


Swamp that is spectacular! Thank you.
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« Reply #3443 on: Mar 24th, 2011, 8:35pm »






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« Reply #3444 on: Mar 25th, 2011, 07:53am »

New York Times

March 25, 2011
Japan Quietly Evacuating a Wider Radius From Reactors
By DAVID JOLLY, HIROKO TABUCHI and KEITH BRADSHER

TOKYO — Japanese officials on Friday began quietly encouraging people to evacuate a larger swath of territory around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, a sign that they hold little hope that the crippled facility will soon be brought under control.

The authorities said they would now assist people who want to leave the area from 12 to 19 miles outside the crippled plant and said they were now encouraging “voluntary evacuation” from the area. Those people had been advised March 15 to remain indoors, while those within a 12-mile radius of the plant had been ordered to evacuate.

The United States has recommended that its citizens stay at least 50 miles away from the plant.

Speaking to a national audience in a press conference Friday night to mark the two weeks since the magnitude 9.0 quake and the devastating tsunami that followed it, Prime Minister Naoto Kan dodged a reporter’s question about whether the government was ordering a full evacuation, saying officials were simply following the recommendation of the Japan Nuclear Safety Commission.In the latest setback to the effort to contain the nuclear crisis, evidence emerged that the reactor vessel of the No. 3 unit may have been damaged, an official said Friday. The development, described at a news conference by Hidehiko Nishiyama, deputy director-general of the Japan Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, raises the possibility that radiation from the mox fuel in the reactor — a combination of uranium and plutonium — could be released.

One sign that a breach may have occurred in the reactor vessel, Mr. Nishiyama said, took place on Thursday when three workers who were trying to connect an electrical cable to a pump in a turbine building next to the reactor were injured when they stepped into water that was found to be significantly more radioactive than normal in a reactor.

The No. 3 unit, the only one of the six reactors at the site that uses the mox fuel, was damaged by a hydrogen explosion on March 14. Workers have been seeking to keep it cool by spraying it with seawater along with a more recent effort to restart the reactor’s cooling system.A broken vessel is not the only possible explanation, he said. The water might have leaked from another part of the facility.

The news Friday and the discovery this week of a radioactive isotope in the water supplies of Tokyo and neighboring prefectures has punctured the mood of optimism with which the week began, leaving a sense that the battle to fix the damaged plant will be a long one.

“The situation still requires caution,” Mr. Kan, grave and tired-looking, told the nation. “Our measures are aimed at preventing the circumstances from getting worse.”

Mr. Kan also apologized to the businesses and farmers whoselivelihoods have been endangered by the plant. He acknowledged theassistance of the United States and thanked the many people — utilityworkers, military personnel, policemen and firefighters — who arerisking their lives in an effort to restore the cooling functions ofthe plant and stop the harmful release of radiation.

“Let us take courage, and walk together to rebuild,” he added. “Thenation united, as one, to overcome the crisis.”

No one is being ordered to evacuate the second zone around the troubled plant, officials said, and people may choose to remain, but many have already left of their own accord, tiring of the anxiety and tedium of remaining cooped up as the nuclear crisis simmers just a few miles away. Many are said to be virtual prisoners, with no access to shopping and immobilized by a lack of gasoline.

“What we’ve been finding is that in that area life has become quite difficult,” Noriyuki Shikata, deputy cabinet secretary for Prime Minister Naoto Kan, said in a telephone interview. “People don’t want to go into the zone to make deliveries.”

Mr. Shikata said the question of where those who chose to leave would go was still under consideration.

“There appear to be more than 10,000 people in the outer zone,”

NHK, the Japanese public broadcaster, quoted a Land Self Defense Force official as saying. “We’re trying to quickly locate everyone who remains, so that we can rapidly help in case the nuclear plant situation worsens.”

Officials continue to be dogged by suspicions that they are not telling the entire story about the radiation leaks. Shunichi Tanaka, former acting chairman of the country’s Atomic Energy Commission, told The Japan Times in an interview published Friday that the government was being irresponsible in forcing people from their homes around the damaged plant without explaining the risks they were facing.

“The government has not yet said in concrete terms why evacuation is necessary to the people who have evacuated,” he said.

The National Police Agency said Friday that the official death toll from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami had passed 10,000, with nearly 17,500 others listed as missing.There was some good news. Levels of the radioactive isotope found in Tokyo’s water supply fell Friday for a second day, officials said, dropping to 51 becquerels per liter, well below the country’s stringent maximum for infants.

On Wednesday, Tokyo area stores were cleaned out of bottled water after the Tokyo authorities said the isotope, iodine 131, had been detected in the city’s water supply and cautioned those in the affected areas not to give infants tap water. On Thursday, cities in two of Tokyo’s neighboring prefectures, Chiba and Saitama, also reported disturbing levels of radiation in their water.

Nuclear workers will have to keep venting radioactive gases from the damaged reactors, adding to the plume of emissions carried by winds and dispersed by rain. The public has been warned not to consume food and milk from the area near the plant.

Japanese officials said nine days ago that there were signs of damage to the reactor vessel at reactor No. 3, particularly warning then that there might have been damage to the suppression pool (Web link: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/16/world/asia/16nuclear.html).

But Michael Friedlander, a former nuclear power plant operator for 13 years in the United States, said that the presence of radioactive cobalt and molybdenum in water samples taken from the basement of the turbine building of reactor No. 3 raised the possibility of a very different leak.

Both materials typically occur not because of fission but because of routine corrosion in a reactor and its associated piping over the course of many years of use, he said.

These materials are continuously removed from the reactor’s water system as it circulates through a piece of equipment called a condensate polisher, which is located outside the reactor vessel. The discovery of both materials in the basement suggests damage to that equipment or its associated piping, as opposed to a breach of the reactor vessel itself, Mr. Friedlander said.

The condensate polisher is also located in the basement of the turbine building, where the tainted water was found. By contrast, the reactor vessel is actually located in a completely different, adjacent building, and would be far less likely to leak into the basement of the turbine building.

The aggressive use of saltwater to cool the reactor and storage pool may mean that more of these highly radioactive corrosion materials will be dislodged and contaminate the area in the days to come, posing further hazards to repair workers, Mr. Friedlander added.

Speaking at a Webcast press conference, Sakae Muto, a Tokyo Electric Power vice president, said that the company did not know how badly the seawater used to cool the reactors had contributed to corrosion. Seawater leaves residue behind as it evaporates and corrosion damages critical pipes, valves and metal assemblies.

He said the company had found the same problem with contaminated water in the basements of the No.1 and No. 2 turbine buildings as that which caused the men’s injuries in the No. 3 unit. Removing the radioactive water will delay the work of restarting cooling systems.

On Friday, the company switched to pumping fresh water to cool the No. 1 unit.


David Jolly and Horko Tabuchi reported from Tokyo and Keith Bradsher from Hong Kong. Takeshi Takizawa contributed reporting from Tokyo.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/26/world/asia/26japan.html?_r=1&hp

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« Reply #3445 on: Mar 25th, 2011, 07:59am »

Telegraph

The start of Elizabeth Taylor's funeral was delayed after the film star left instructions requesting that her coffin should arrive 15 minutes late.

7:00AM GMT 25 Mar 2011

Taylor was buried at a family funeral in a California cemetery famous for being the final resting place of Hollywood celebrities, including her good friend Michael Jackson.

Barricades blocked access to the funeral at the Forest Lawn Cemetery, where about 50 family members mourned the actress during a service that lasted about an hour, said a police spokesman. Five black stretch limousines transported Taylor's family to and from the funeral, but no procession was held.

The service began 15 minutes after its announced start time in observance of Taylor's parting wish that her funeral start late, her publicist Sally Morrison said.

Taylor had left instructions asking for the tardy start and had requested that someone announce, "She even wanted to be late for her own funeral," Morrison said.

Taylor died early on Wednesday of congestive heart failure while surrounded by her four children at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she had been hospitalized for about six weeks.

Taylor, who was infamously married eight times to seven husbands, converted to Judaism before her 1959 wedding to Eddie Fisher. Jewish customs call for a burial within 48 hours of death.

The one-hour service began with poetry readings by actor Colin Farrell and Taylor's family members and included a trumpet performance of Amazing Grace by her grandson, Morrison said.

The casket was draped in gardenias, violets, and lilies of the valley before its interment in the cemetery's Great Mausoleum beneath a marble sculpture of an angel inspired by the work of Italian artist Michelangelo.

Besides Jackson, the cemetery is the final resting place for Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, W.C. Fields, Red Skelton, Gracie Allen, Walt Disney and Nat King Cole.

Taylor, the star of such films as "Butterfield 8," "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and "Cleopatra," won three Academy Awards, including a special one for her humanitarian work. She was an ardent and early supporter of AIDS research, when HIV was new to the industry and beyond.

Taylor underwent at least 20 major operations during her life and nearly died from a bout with pneumonia in 1990. In 1994 and 1995, she had both hip joints replaced, and in February 1997, she underwent surgery to remove a benign brain tumour. In 1983, she acknowledged a 35-year addiction to sleeping pills and pain killers, and was treated for alcohol and drug abuse.

Taylor's publicist said any details of a memorial service would likely be announced at a later date.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/8405620/Elizabeth-Taylor-arrives-late-for-her-own-funeral.html

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« Reply #3446 on: Mar 25th, 2011, 08:08am »

Wired Threat Level

Tools of Tradecraft: More Spy Gear From the CIA, Others
By Kim Zetter
March 25, 2011 | 7:00 am
Categories: Surveillance


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Photo: Courtesy International Spy Museum


Every good spy story needs a sequel.

Last month, we published a gallery of CIA spy tools that was so popular, we decided to publish a follow-up with more gear.

We've expanded the rogue's gallery of ingenious spy gadgets with a raft of devious tricks from the former Soviet bloc and other countries, including a lipstick gun, shoe bug and a seriously savage rectal Houdini kit (you'll understand it when you see the pic). We hope you like these as much as you liked the others. All images are courtesy of the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C.

Above:

Kiss of Death
For the spy-op gone bad, or simply for any Natscha who found herself out to dinner with the date from hell, this Cold War-era KGB lipstick gun delivered the kiss of death with a single 4.5mm shot.

Tools of Tradecraft: The CIA’s Historic Spy Kit:
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/02/cia-tools-of-tradecraft/

more after the jump
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/


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« Reply #3447 on: Mar 25th, 2011, 08:10am »

Entertainment Weekly

'Fringe' renewed for a fourth season
by Lynette Rice
Categories: Deals, Fringe, Sci-Fi, Television, TV Biz

Excellent news for Fringe fans: The drama has been picked up for a fourth season. The cat was let out of the bag this afternoon when J.H. Wyman, an executive producer on the Fox drama, tweeted this to fans: “Fringe was picked up!!!! Thanks Fringedom!”

A network spokeswoman confirmed the show received a full season pickup.

Word of the pickup comes after the drama fell to its lowest rating ever last Friday. It dropped 13% to 3.8 million viewers and a 1.3 rating in the adult demo. In defense, ratings had been falling all week because of the time change (more daylight in the early evening tends to result in fewer people watching TV). And CBS was airing college basketball.

Critical praise for the drama has never been stronger and its performance on Fridays is still better than how the network was doing on the night in the fall. In fact, Fox reports that Fringe is the No. 1 show on the night this season — across both broadcast and cable — and that the drama has improved the network’s average on the night by 38%.

http://insidetv.ew.com/2011/03/24/fringe-renewed-for-fourth-season/

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« Reply #3448 on: Mar 25th, 2011, 08:15am »

Science Daily

Suzaku Shows Clearest Picture Yet of Perseus Galaxy Cluster

ScienceDaily (Mar. 24, 2011) — X-ray observations made by the Suzaku observatory provide the clearest picture to date of the size, mass and chemical content of a nearby cluster of galaxies. The study also provides the first direct evidence that million-degree gas clouds are tightly gathered in the cluster's outskirts.


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Suzaku explored faint X-ray emission of hot gas across two swaths of the Perseus Galaxy Cluster. The images, which record X-rays with energies between 700 and 7,000 electron volts in a combined exposure of three days, are shown in two false-color strips. Bluer colors indicate less intense X-ray emission. The dashed circle is 11.6 million light-years across and marks the so-called virial radius, where cold gas is now entering the cluster. Red circles indicate X-ray sources not associated with the cluster. Inset: An image of the cluster's bright central region taken by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory is shown to scale.
(Credit: NASA/ISAS/DSS/A. Simionescu et al.; inset: NASA/CXC/A.)



Suzaku is sponsored by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) with contributions from NASA and participation by the international scientific community. The findings will appear in the March 25 issue of the journal Science.

Galaxy clusters are millions of light-years across, and most of their normal matter comes in the form of hot X-ray-emitting gas that fills the space between the galaxies.

"Understanding the content of normal matter in galaxy clusters is a key element for using these objects to study the evolution of the universe," explained Adam Mantz, a co-author of the paper at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Clusters provide independent checks on cosmological values established by other means, such as galaxy surveys, exploding stars and the cosmic microwave background, which is the remnant glow of the Big Bang. The cluster data and the other values didn't agree.

NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) explored the cosmic microwave background and established that baryons -- what physicists call normal matter -- make up only about 4.6 percent of the universe. Yet previous studies showed that galaxy clusters seemed to hold even fewer baryons than this amount.

Suzaku images of faint gas at the fringes of a nearby galaxy cluster have allowed astronomers to resolve this discrepancy for the first time.

The satellite's ideal target for this study was the Perseus Galaxy Cluster, which is located about 250 million light-years away and named for the constellation in which it resides. It is the brightest extended X-ray source beyond our own galaxy, and also the brightest and closest cluster in which Suzaku has attempted to map outlying gas.

"Before Suzaku, our knowledge of the properties of this gas was limited to the innermost parts of clusters, where the X-ray emission is brightest, but this left a huge volume essentially unexplored," said Aurora Simionescu, the study's lead researcher at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) at Stanford University.

In late 2009, Suzaku's X-ray telescopes repeatedly observed the cluster by progressively imaging areas farther east and northwest of the center. Each set of images probed sky regions two degrees across -- equivalent to four times the apparent width of the full moon or about 9 million light-years at the cluster's distance. Staring at the cluster for about three days, the satellite mapped X-rays with energies hundreds of times greater than that of visible light.

From the data, researchers measured the density and temperature of the faint X-ray gas, which let them infer many other important quantities. One is the so-called virial radius, which essentially marks the edge of the cluster. Based on this measurement, the cluster is 11.6 million light-years across and contains more than 660 trillion times the mass of the sun. That's nearly a thousand times the mass of our Milky Way galaxy.

The researchers also determined the ratio of the cluster's gas mass to its total mass, including dark matter -- the mysterious substance that makes up about 23 percent of the universe, according to WMAP. By virtue of their enormous size, galaxy clusters should contain a representative sample of cosmic matter, with normal-to-dark-matter ratios similar to WMAP's. Yet the outer parts of the Perseus cluster seemed to contain too many baryons, the opposite of earlier studies, but still in conflict with WMAP.

To solve the problem, researchers had to understand the distribution of hot gas in the cluster, the researchers say. In the central regions, the gas is repeatedly whipped up and smoothed out by passing galaxies. But computer simulations show that fresh infalling gas at the cluster edge tends to form irregular clumps.

Not accounting for the clumping overestimates the density of the gas. This is what led to the apparent disagreement with the fraction of normal matter found in the cosmic microwave background.

"The distribution of these clumps and the fact that they are not immediately destroyed as they enter the cluster are important clues in understanding the physical processes that take place in these previously unexplored regions," said Steve Allen at KIPAC, the principal investigator of the Suzaku observations.

Goddard supplied Suzaku's X-ray telescopes and data-processing software, and it continues to operate a facility that supports U.S. astronomers who use the spacecraft.

Suzaku (Japanese for "red bird of the south") is the fifth Japanese X-ray astronomy satellite. It was launched as Astro-E2 on July 10, 2005, and renamed in orbit. The observatory was developed at JAXA's Institute of Space and Astronautical Science in collaboration with NASA and other Japanese and U.S. institutions.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110324171100.htm

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« Reply #3449 on: Mar 25th, 2011, 08:23am »

Longmont Times-Call

Publish Date: 3/25/2011


In this image taken from a YouTube video, three red lights hover over Lafayette.

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UFO claims in Lafayette baffle some
Three red lights create plenty of buzz -- and skeptics -- online

By Sarah Kuta
Boulder Daily Camera

Aliens are coming to a city near you.

Or, at least they’re surveying Boulder County as a future landing zone, according to several Lafayette residents.

Three red lights in a triangle were spotted hovering in the sky by several Lafayette residents Monday around 8:30 p.m. The sky was clear, but witnesses could not see anything connecting the lights.

Leroy Vandervegt, 50, has lived in Lafayette for the past 16 years. His 17-year-old son, Nick, spotted the lights on his way home from work and called his father. Leroy Vendervegt grabbed his camera, ran outside and looked up. He began filming. Sure enough, he too saw three red lights. Aliens? Maybe.

“I don’t know what they are,” Leroy Vandervegt said. “All I know is that I had no idea what it is. It wasn’t a satellite; it wasn’t an airplane; and it wasn’t a helicopter.”

The lights made no noise, Leroy Vandervegt said, and seemed to hover in the sky while moving slowly from southwest to southeast. They didn’t blink. The lights remained in a triangular shape, but the type of triangle changed from equilateral to isosceles to scalene.

Then, the triangle began moving toward the northeast sky when one light extinguished, or zoomed away. The remaining two lights “just turned off and were gone,” Leroy Vandervegt said.

Denver International Airport officials declined to comment on the sighting. But Allen Kenitzer, Federal Aviation Administration’s spokesman for Rocky Mountain region, said that his staff didn’t see anything out of the ordinary on Monday night.

“To the best of our knowledge, radar returns showed no abnormal unidentified activity within our airspace in references to the three triangular formation red lights as being reported,” Kenitzer said in an email.

Leroy Vandervegt posted his video on YouTube, and his since gotten more than 6,000 views and nearly 50 comments.

His brother, Alex Lankhorst, was visiting Lafayette from Salina, Kan. The video he posted of the lights has received more than 8,000 views. Lankhorst said the description of “unidentified flying object” made sense in this situation — no one could identify the object in the sky.

Doug Wilson is the Colorado state director for the Greeley-based Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), an organization that strives to learn the origin of UFO phenomenon through the collection and analysis of UFO data. Wilson received four reports of the UFO sighting and is sending investigators to the scene.

“It’s unusual for us to have a single event with multiple reports,” Wilson said. “It’s not just somebody pulling our leg.”

Wilson said three red lights in a triangle is a common pattern for UFOs.

Joe Valadez, 47, also posted a video to YouTube of the lights in the sky. Some of the commenters on Valadez’s video were skeptical. One user, Lonnie Sexton, 33, wrote: “I want proof as bad as the next guy, but these are just hot air candle balloons folks.”

Sexton, of Broomfield, said he would like to believe that there are other life forms in the universe, but that nothing he has seen online has convinced him.

“It’s always kind of iffy,” he said during an interview. “With graphics these days, you can’t believe everything you see on the Internet.”

Sexton slowed down the video and enhanced it to get a better look. A more plausible explanation, he said, are Japanese lanterns “like in the Karate Kid” — floating flags or plastic bags with small candles underneath.

“There’s always a better explanation,” Sexton said. “If alien species were to descend somewhere, why would they just hover? They would let us know they were here.”

Valadez said he too wanted a logical explanation for the sighting, but couldn’t come up with one. For now, he and other witnesses will have to settle on the unknown.

“It’s just weird,” he said. “I’m skeptical, but it’s unexplainable. I believe in certain stuff, but I’m not a UFO nerd or whatever. I’m not really for sure it was aliens, I just wonder what it was.”





http://www.timescall.com/news_story.asp?ID=26069


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