Wednesday, July 26, 2017

It is so good to hear his voice. The film opens August 4th. See it.

The flooding of Hurricane Sandy is the precursor to loss within Lower Manhattan. The cost to the climate crisis is staggering. The wall needs to be built in Lower Manhattan to keep out the ocean, not Mexico.

Al Gore Timeline (click here)

March 31, 1948 — Albert Gore Jr. is born in Washington, D.C. His father wasa U.S. senator from Tennessee, Albert Gore Sr.
1969-71 — Military service as a private in Vietnam.
May 19, 1970 — Marries Tipper Gore. They would have four children: Karenna, Kristin, Sarah and Albert Arnold Gore III.
1976 — Elected to the House of Representatives from Tennessee.
1984 — Elected to the U.S. Senate from Tennessee.
1988 — He runs for president but loses the Democratic nomination to Michael Dukakis.
1992 — Elected vice president of the United States. Bill Clinton is elected president.
1996 — Gore and Clinton re-elected.
2000 — Runs for president, loses in a contested election to George W. Bush when the Supreme Court allows the vote certification in Florida to stand, giving Bush the necessary electoral votes to become president.
2006 — “An Inconvenient Truth” is released to critical acclaim and strong box office returns.
2007 — “An Inconvenient Truth” wins the Oscar for best documentary. Al Gore wins the Nobel Peace Prize.
2010 — Al and Tipper Gore announce their separation.
2015 — Al Gore participates in the talks that result in the Paris agreement on climate change.
Aug. 4, 2017 — “An Inconvenient Sequel” is released in San Francisco.

He can't. It is grossly irresponsible to even consider it.

Of course, the reason Chelsea Manning blew the whistle on the USA was because of being transgender.

This is more bigotry, white supremacist hatred. When will Trump be relieved from his office?

It weakens our military by sending highly qualified individuals to civilian life. 


The USA military does not operate on such fluid policy. The entire issue of LGTB members of the military went through a long process to achieve equality. It is going to have to engage a long process to counter the results of the past decade.

July 26, 2017

President Trump announced on Twitter on Wednesday (click here) that he will ban transgender people from serving in the military in any capacity, an abrupt reversal of an Obama administration decision to allow them to serve openly and a potential end to the careers of thousands of active-duty troops.

The decision halts a years-long process of advancing rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the U.S. military that began with the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in 2010. And the nature of the announcement left both Republicans and Democrats in Congress concerned about the seeming broad scope of Trump’s order.

Citing the need to focus on what he called “decisive and overwhelming victory,” Trump said that the military cannot accept the burden of higher medical costs and the “disruption” that transgender troops “would entail.”

“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”...

Cutting the dollars that go into projects advanced to this stage might make them worthless.

I am quite confident some of these funds came from the USA and the Trump administration has proposed huge cutbacks in science and medical research. Australia is suppose to be an ally. Cuts to any assistance is shooting ourselves in the foot.

It had to be the US because Australia didn't cut anything from it's astronomy budget.

May 10, 2017

In terms of the impact on science, (click here) the Australian budget, released 9 May, is “very bland,” says Les Field, science policy secretary at the Australian Academy of Science in Canberra, the nation’s leading scientific association. “There are no big spending initiatives but no major cuts,” he adds.

It’s a “business-as-usual budget for science and technology,” agrees Kylie Walker, CEO of Science and Technology Australia in Canberra, which represents scientists.

Overall spending on science for the fiscal year beginning 1 July and in later years, called the forward estimates, is not yet clear because support is spread across several ministries. But the plan does reveal some winners and losers....

If there has to be spending cuts it should occur for future project, not those already engaged, planned and underway. Honestly.

24 July 2017
By Sarah Wild

Designs for the world’s largest radio telescope (click here) have been scaled back to save money — a decision that astronomers say could affect its ability to peer deep into the Universe’s past. 
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA), a telescope 50 times more sensitive than current instruments, is expected to cost billions of dollars. Its final design calls for around 2,000 radio dishes in Africa, together with up to one million antennas in Australia, that will have a total light-collecting area of roughly 1 square kilometre — hence the project's name.
But the first phase of construction, called SKA1, is a more modest affair. Already slimmed down from a larger design proposed in 2013, it now comprises 194 dishes in South Africa and around 130,000 antennas in Australia. In March, the SKA's board said that the project would have to find further cuts of around 20% so that it could be built within a €674 million (US$785 million) cap imposed by the project’s ten funders — Australia, Canada, China, India, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. And at a meeting in the Netherlands on 18–19 July the board decided to make the savings by, among other measures, scaling back SKA1’s computing power and crowding its antennas and radio dishes closer together....

It is the US. Has to be. There isn't anything else it can be. There is opposition by Congress to the President's plans, but, that isn't going to play well with allies. They will not count on the USA and that just might be a permanent policy.

The 2018 budget proposal (click here) that President Donald Trump unveiled last week confirms two things that U.S. scientists have long suspected: The new president is no fan of research, and his administration has no overarching strategy for funding science. Deep proposed cuts to research at several agencies offer evidence that Trump doesn't see science—of any kind—as a spending priority. And along with neglect there's indifference. There's no telling how the National Science Foundation would fare, for example, because the budget blueprint doesn't mention it. In the meantime, scientists are also worried about the fate of this year's research budgets after Trump proposed cuts to the category that funds all civilian research. More angst: There's no word yet on whether the president will even appoint a science adviser, much less when he will fill dozens of senior slots at research agencies....

It's the USA. The global community is quickly coming to the conclusion the USA can't be counted on for anything.

27 June 2013

Australian organisations have won (click here) almost $19 million in funding to help design the world’s largest radio telescope.

The Australian Government has made almost $19 million available to Australian organisations to help design the groundbreaking international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project.

Co-hosted in Australia and South Africa, the SKA will be the world’s largest radio telescope. It is being funded by countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas as well as Australia and New Zealand.

“This is a gigantic international science project that will change the way astronomy is done worldwide and it will be co-hosted here in Australia,” Minister for Science and Research Senator Don Farrell said.

“These grants will help Australian organisations to win the opportunity to work with leading international players on the design of the SKA and, by doing so, demonstrate our world-class research and development capabilities.”

The grants are conditional upon the recipients being selected by the international SKA Organisation to undertake SKA work packages, worth around $114 million. An announcement of the successful tenderers will be made later this year....

The organizations that are falling short of funding could ask China. I am confident Chinese scientists would be delighted to be a part of it.

26 July 2017
By Jane Qiu

...For director-general Wu Ji, (click here) this 19.4-hectare, 914-million-yuan (US$135-million) campus represents the coming of age of China's space-science efforts. In the past few decades, Wu says, China has built the capacity to place satellites and astronauts in orbit and send spacecraft to the Moon, but it has not done much significant research from its increasingly lofty vantage point. Now, that is changing. “As far as space science is concerned,” he says, “we are the new kid on the block.”

China is rushing to establish itself as a leader in the field. In 2013, a 1.2-tonne spacecraft called Chang'e-3 landed on the Moon, delivering a rover that used ground-penetrating radar to measure the lunar subsurface with unprecedented resolution. China's latest space lab, which launched in September 2016, carries more than a dozen scientific payloads. And four additional missions dedicated to astrophysics and other fields have been sent into orbit in the past two years, including a spacecraft that is conducting pioneering experiments in quantum communication....

It is summer time and local vacations or trips to nearby states can be the best.

July 24, 2017
By Elena Mejia

The macaws make an appearance for an afternoon show and feeding in the Pavilion at the Indianapolis Zoo. The young birds are still learning their way around the zoo with the help of the macaw trainers.

It's perhaps not a shock to learn (click here) that the long-heralded San Diego Zoo or the Bronx Zoo would be named among the 10 best zoos in the nation.

But how about the Indianapolis Zoo?

Absolutely, at least according to Conde Nast Traveler, which recently released its list of the nation's top zoos, noting that the Indianapolis Zoo "is the only park in America certified as a zoo, aquarium, and zoological garden."

Carla Knapp, public relations specialist for the city's zoo, called it an outstanding recognition, given that Conde Nast Traveler is one of the foremost authorities on world travel. 

"We offer the only opportunity in the Midwest for people to get in the water with dolphins," she said. "That is a unique experience we offer to get people up close and personal with an animal that typically they would have to travel to Florida or someplace else to experience that."

The Indy zoo also recently unveiled a new exhibit that includes 50 endangered macaws. The colorful birds freely fly a half-mile above the zoo....

I wish someone would lift some DNA from the American Museum of Natural History (click here) and compare that DNA to the DNA of the species today. Endangered and threatened status means there is habitat stress among the surviving members of a species. It is when there is stress that mutations can take place. One of the reasons this episode of climate change is a crisis is because it is rapid climate change with increases the danger of survival of any species, including humans.

So, it would be prudent to examine DNA from specie members that did not experience habitat stress. The American Museum of Natural History often comes under criticism as being the place where man's arrogance shows the most. That is the case, no doubt. But, those hunters long ago that proved humans were superior in it's ability to dominate the wilderness may have done a favor to the species that exist today.

I have to wonder if there are signs in the DNA of current survivors that are marginally different from it's recent ancestors.

July 25, 2017
By Chris Peters

The Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium (click here) is investing heavily in the future of tigers.

The zoo announced two new initiatives on Monday: a tiger breeding facility and a sperm bank.

Last week, the zoo broke ground on a tiger breeding facility at its Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park and Wildlife Safari in Ashland. The facility is similar to the zoo’s cheetah breeding space, which has been a success since it opened in 2014.

In addition, the main zoo campus is now home to a genome resource bank for tigers. The zoo has begun collecting sperm samples from tigers in zoos around the country and freezing them in liquid nitrogen tanks inside its Center for Conservation Research.

Dr. Jason Herrick, the zoo’s director of reproductive sciences, described the bank as a “fancy sperm bank” during a Facebook Live video broadcast. “Once it’s frozen, it’s good in theory forever. We could be using it for 30, 40, 100 years after the tiger dies.”...

24 July 2017

African wild/painted dog (click here) and spotted hyena are usually aggressive competitors. This fascinating encounter took place when one dog from an Okavango pack made some friendly contact with first one, then another spotted hyena. Soon after, the rest of the wild dog pack attacked the hyena. 

Eleven (click here) endangered African Painted Dog puppies have been weighed, assessed and vaccinated in their first medical check at Perth Zoo.

The puppies were born in April to first-time parents Kisuri and Hasani – who was brought in to Perth Zoo from Altina Wildlife Park in NSW.

“We’re delighted to announce we have seven feisty females and four males,” senior zookeeper Becky Thomasson said....

Painted Dog Conservation (click here)