Updated blog is now at Interference Patterns. Sorry for the inconvenience.
On the lighter side, we all got this cool xray!
Scientific American.com June 28, 2004
Milky Way X-ray Mystery Deepens
Astronomers have long puzzled over the origin of the x-ray glow in the middle of our Milky Way galaxy. Previous spectral measurements have hinted at the source of the diffuse light, but the data were inconclusive. Recently, observers spent 170 hours pointing NASA's Chandra x-ray telescope at a 100-light-year-wide region around the galactic center in hopes of elucidating matters. The results raise as many questions as they answer.
To study the diffuse x-ray emission, Michael Muno of UCLA and his collaborators removed from the Chandra image 2,357 bright points that came from obvious x-ray sources, like white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes, as well as distant galaxies lying behind the Milky Way. The remaining sources in the image were too faint to identify. But the researchers determined that these unresolved sources could not account for all of the remaining x-rays. In fact, they estimated that the galactic center would have to contain 200,000 of the known x-ray objects--10 times more than are predicted to exist--in order to generate the leftover light in the image.
Instead the majority of the galactic center's ghostlike x-ray emission appears to be coming from two bodies of hot ionized gas, or plasma. The two plasmas occupy essentially the same volume, but one has a temperature of 10 million degrees Celsius and the other about 100 million degrees C. The cooler gas is most likely gas blown off during the violent deaths of massive stars.
But the origin of the hotter gas remains an enigma. It is so hot that the galaxy's gravity cannot keep it from boiling off into intergalactic space. Supernovae and stellar winds could replenish the gas, but their typical energy is not enough to produce a 100-million-degree plasma. As an explanation, the researchers posit that cosmic rays, magnetic fields and excess supernovae could provide additional heat, but they note that none of these theories are entirely successful.
1. Three Stories About the Finding of the Zigzag Railroad, the Pigs with Bibs On, the Circus Clown Ovens, the Village of Liver-and-Onions, the Village of Cream Puffs.People:
Gimme the Ax
Ax Me No Questions
The Ticket Agent
Wing Tip the Spick
The Four Uncles
The Rat in a Blizzard
The Five Rusty Rats
Polka Dot Pigs
I hope you were fortunate enough to read, or have read to you, Carl Sandburg's Rutabaga Stories when you were younger (or at any time of your life). If not, you have been greatly impoverished.
Scranton Times-Tribune: I'm presuming it will be closed for a while:
Police find marijuana greenhouse
By Chris Birk TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER 06/23/2004
City police seized a substantial amount of marijuana Tuesday afternoon from the third-floor of a downtown Scranton business.
Peter Kameroski, 51, of 11032 Valley View Drive, Clarks Summit, was charged Tuesday with multiple drug counts stemming from the seizure above the Electric Mindshaft record store at 227 Lackawanna Ave.Mr. Kameroski owns both the shop and the building, police said.
Acting on a tip, narcotics and special investigative agents walked away with 146 marijuana plants and scores of sealed bags and mason jars filled with several strains of the drug.
Police Chief David Elliott said the cache represented one of the largest, and most sophisticated, drug operations in the city's history.
Narcotics agents, who asked not to be identified, said they found heating lamps, irrigation systems and drying racks throughout the building's third-floor, which was only accessible via a 22-foot-tall ladder on the second floor.
The third floor was entirely used for growing marijuana, the agents said.
Police showcased much of the marijuana during an impromptu press briefing around 4 p.m. at City Hall. At the time, the sheer volume had yet to be processed, and narcotics agents were hard-pressed to estimate the amount or street value of the seizure.
Later Tuesday night, Lt. Marty Crofton said preliminary estimates indicate the drugs were worth from $20,000 to $60,000.
Mr. Kameroski was arraigned Tuesday afternoon before District Justice John Pesota and released on $100,000 unsecured bail. He was charged with two counts of drug manufacturing and one count each of possession with intent to distribute, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
It's just around the corner from where I work. I had been hoping to head over there one of these days.
For CDs, I mean.
Anyway, here's a mention of the place that proves automation isn't all it's cracked up to be.
The 'Mindshaft is right next to the newly-built Scranton Enterprise Center (you catch a glimpse of his storefront in this artist's rendition). As part of that, and part of the general Lackawanna-Avenue refurbishment, Peter had gotten a loan to renovate the front of the building. I was looking forward to it being finished.
He had, I think, the last used-CD store in Scranton. He also had a great selection, gave fair prices on trade-ins, and would let you test-play anything. :::sigh:::
This really bums me out. All the CDs were filed in the back to deter theft, with the empty jewel-boxes on the shelves. He always complained when I came up to the counter with my selection, becuase even though I told him which category I found the discs under, they were enver filed there. I tended to pick the kind of music that got re-categorized every week or so, I guess.
The Soundtracks bin was one of the best things, for some reason. I found Fitzcarraldo's music there, as well as the Chemical Bros. stuff for Fight Club, and two discs of Bill Frissel's Music for the films of Buster Keaton.
UPDATE 06.25.04: WYOU22 newsbrief:
From garbage bags filled with 146 live marijuana plants to ziplocks stuffed with dried pot ready for sale, Scranton Police confiscated enough weed to put a large dent in the local underground drug market. They estimate the street value to be in excess of 20 grand. An informant lead police to a Scranton music store late last week. One search warrant later, the 52 year old landlord, Peter Kameroski, is behind bars. Police say Kameroski was running in effect a marijuana greenhouse on the third floor of the building on Lackawanna Avenue. Drying racks, light transformers and all. The building has been condemned.
Wherein we discover why it's actually called a Texas Wiender:
The specific reasons for his choice of "Texas," unfortunately, are more likely to remain unexplained. I suppose that, seeking to give a unique and, for Paterson, exotic name to his new and somewhat spicy food — itself characterized by a sauce whose name ("chili") carries Western, Latino, and cowboy associations — he might have chosen the "Texas" designation to give his creation what today we'd call an "image."
Ooops. My bad. Well, it's still informative. Rather well-researched, too.
See an last-year's post on a local tradition.
With the exception of Best Blogs. A loss that is made less by half of them pointing to redirection pages that were already two years old. So, in the spirit of bestness, or at least blogs that are interesting and we got to like them quite a bit becasue we were exposed to them easily, here they are:
News of the Dead
Follow Me Here
I may be missing one or two, still. I don't recall those that had been non-updated for a long time...
Page 742: Strom Thurmond, 94, tells Chelsea, "If were 70 years younger, I'd court you!"
Page 879: On a visit to Italy, the actor Roberto Benigni leaps into Clinton's arms and shrieks, "I love you!"
diesel sweeties: indie t-shirts (AKA tshirts)
Took back the streets.
Well, the overpasses, anyway.
- Children who participate in sports are 80 percent less likely to procure, produce, and/or deal enriched uranium
- Enriched uranium is what is known as a gateway element. Children who try enriched uranium are more likely to try plutonium and wine coolers
- Generally speaking, girls seem completely uninterested in obtaining enriched uranium
- In a recent poll, nearly two-thirds of high-school students reported that they knew where to get uranium if they wanted it; another one-third of students said that they had been at parties where isotopes were being separated
Mr. Burmeister, at work. The bitmap, in the proper hands, is a powerful tool....
The index is, of course, completely illlegible.
Received in the email, today:
I'd search for it on Google, but my wireless dial-up connection has a limit of 10km radius from the source, and I'm in some remote village about 38km from where I usually am. If I stand on the roof and wave my handset around I can catch a signal just long enough to check my email!
If we're living in the future, where's my jet-pack?
Piet is a programming language in which programs look like abstract paintings. The language is named after Piet Mondrian, who pioneered the field of geometric abstract art.
They's wemt, in the fire.
All souls was taken then.
All souls did burn.
Two dark and cryptic episodes, follwed by two bright-and-cheery Phillipe-for-President episodes, and then back to the gloom and humidity.
You know, way back when, they all used to be a bunch of toys.
Asked whether he was disappointed that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld had improperly held an Iraqi prisoner in secret for more than seven months in violation of the Geneva Conventions, Bush replied: "The secretary and I discussed that for the first time this morning. ... I'm never disappointed in my secretary of defense. He's doing a fabulous job and America's lucky to have him in the position he's in.''
Actually, I'm being unfair. He did answer the question. He's not disappointed that Rumsfeld improperly held an Iraqi prisoner in secret for more than seven months in violation of the Geneva Conventions, Rumsfeld is doing a fabulous job improperly holding an Iraqi prisoner in secret for more than seven months in violation of the Geneva Conventions, and America is lucky to have him improperly hold an Iraqi prisoner in secret for more than seven months in violation of the Geneva Conventions.
the ring being Brand
know consequently a
little big i was
careful of it and(having
thoroughly shined the elvish
script checked my pocket felt of
its chain made sure it was around my neck O.
K.)i went right to it jammed-it-on my finger straight …
from III C 2, Whether Balrogs have Wings:
I assert that Balrogs do not have wings. For, it is a natural impulse to act to preserve one’s life, and in doing so, to make full use of one’s capabilities. If the Balrog did have wings, it would not allow itself to fall to its death in the mines of Moria, but save itself by the use of its wings. …Reply to Objection ii. Dragons and Balrogs are alike in that they are both servants of evil and of flame, but they differ in their accidental traits. Because two things are alike in one way, it is not proper to argue that they are alike in other ways.
"If one finds a ring in a dark cave, or an enchanted blade in a grave-barrow, these he is allowed to keep."
If one finds a ring in a dark cave -- what is the reason for this? Thus said R. Yitzchak: It is because the owner of the ring would have been checking it at all times, and thus, he would have noticed when he lost it, and surely he would have said, "woe is me, for I have lost my preciousss," and as R. Zvid said in the name of Rabha, if one says, "woe it me, for I have lost my preciousss," he does not expect to recover it.And of which rings are we talking? Rabha bar R. Chana says, "even the nine". Ullah says, "even the seven." Reish Lakish says, "even the three." R. Nachman says in the name of Shmuel, "This is only true of the One Ring, and that only because the One Ring is never truly lost by chance."
Sixteenth today it is," thinks Leopold Bloom, and the 16th it was, in June 1904. James Joyce, age 22, would walk out that very night in Dublin with Nora Barnacle, whom he later wedded. "Ulysses" is set on that day — Bloomsday, as it has come to be called — in honor of Joyce's meeting Miss Barnacle. Many Joyceans have made of Bloomsday a literary Mardi Gras, an odyssey through Dublin using the points of Joyce's compass, a day to celebrate Irishness and the peculiar verbal fecundity of that nation. In a novel full of celebrated talkers, it is Bloom, Jew and Irishman, who hovers, voice and thought, over the proceedings. As one barroom patron in the novel says, show Bloom a straw on the floor and "he'd talk about it for an hour so he would and talk steady."
All these years later, one somehow thinks of "Ulysses" as being of that day, June 16, 1904, though it was published in February 1922. It is still as defiant a comedy as ever, as fictional as a gazetteer, willing to make a hash of the genres its author inherited. Now and then, a critic feels the need to tilt against "Ulysses," to complain of a byzantine difficulty in certain passages, to lament Joyce's leaps of logic and illogic, his utter sacrifice of plot. But by destroying plot — reducing it to a kind of geography — Joyce succeeds in reinventing time. Bloomsday is the most capacious day in literature. Only the hours of Lear's suffering last longer, and there time passes in a stage direction. Language has almost never had a surer substance — a stronger temporal beat — than Joyce gives it in the thoughts of Leopold Bloom and his wife, Molly, along with Stephen Dedalus and Dublin's assembled hordes."Ulysses" has come to stand as the apogee of "elitist" literature, a novel that carries a kind of foreboding in its very title, the prospect of a hard road ahead. But there is really no less elitist novel in the English language. Its stuff is the common life of man, woman and child. You take what you can, loping over the smooth spots and pulling up short when you need to. Dedalus may indulge in Latinate fancy, and Joyce may revel in literary mimicry. But the real sound of this novel is the sound of the street a century ago: the noise of centuries of streets echoing over the stones.
Each of the last three years I have organized a 24-hour marathon reading of Ulysses; this year, I am taking a break.
The great American news industry, the Pekinese of the Press with so much room and time and nothing to say, compared Reagan to Lincoln and Hamilton, they really did. This is like claiming that the maintenance man wrote the Bill of Rights. And almost all the reporters agreed that Reagan was the man who brought down Russia in the Cold War.
Just saying this is absolutely sinful. The Cold War was won by a long memo written by George Kennan, who worked in the State Department and sent the memo by telegram about the need for a "Policy of Containment" on Russia. Kennan said the contradictions in their system would ruin them. Keep them where they are and they will tear themselves apart. We followed Kennan's policy for over 40 years. The Soviets made it worse on themselves by building a wall in East Berlin. When they had to tear it down and give up their system, Kennan was in Princeton and he sat down to dinner.I thought that children were taught this. Instead, all week, reporters told us that Ronald Reagan won the Cold War. Beautiful.
Could I ask you a favor? I've been playing more and more with my cheap digital cameras and tweaking the output (snapshot gallery 2 thru gallery 6). I'm not sure if what I'm doing is "good" in an external sense (ie, others might say so), or just good as in "I like to do it." One of my doubts has to do with my focus (so to speak) on faces. I've never been drawn to faces in my art before, so I don't know if these are good pictures, or that part of the brain that responds to faces is responding. Does that make sense?
Anyway, I'm looking at converting some of these to slides for some show submission. So before I pop to money on slides and submission fees, I'd like to have some opinions. Any that strike your fancy in an "externally good" sort of way?
That is, if you've got the time to take a gander...
Daily Show Clip of Ashcroft stonewalling.
[Ron] Reagan was not quite so pointed on Friday night. "Dad was also a deeply, unabashedly religious man," he told mourners gathered at sunset at the Reagan presidential library. "But he never made the fatal mistake of so many politicians - wearing his faith on his sleeve to gain political advantage. True, after he was shot and nearly killed early in his presidency he came to believe that God had spared him in order that he might do good. But he accepted that as a responsibility, not a mandate. And there is a profound difference."
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) -- Archaeologists have unearthed a 5,000-year-old necropolis with 20 well-preserved tombs in a poor neighborhood just outside Cairo, Egyptian authorities announced Sunday.
The site in the suburb of Helwan is a mixture of small, plain tombs with larger ones meant for the middle and upper classes, with containing alabaster, limestone, clay and copper pots and pans, the statement said.
The necropolis also contains a limestone relief with early uses of hieroglyphic texts, according to Christian Kohler, head of the Australian team of archaeologists.
"It is a duty to protect this magnificent archaeological site from the urban expansion which represent a major threat to (Helwan's) monuments," she said, quoted in a statement from Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities.
Two large limestone tombs found at the site date to the Old Kingdom, 2575-2134 B.C. and contain a collection of small chapels and niches.
Helwan, some 15 miles south of Cairo, is a heavily populated industrial area located across the Nile river from the pyramids of Saqqara, also a cemetery site.
Uninvited Artist Posts Work at 4 Museums
Wed Jun 9, 2:54 PM ET
By ULA ILNYTZKY, Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK - Paintings of President Bush (news - web sites) and former President Clinton (news - web sites), accompanied by messages referring to the artist's bodily fluids, mysteriously appeared last week on the walls of two major city museums and reportedly at two other museums in Philadelphia and Washington.
Harold Holzer, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, said Wednesday that a cartoon-type painting of Bush against a background of shredded dollar bills was found hanging Saturday on the wall near an exit in the museum's modern art galleries.
"The Metropolitan is a repository for the greatest works of human creativity over the last 5,000 years," Holzer said. "It is not a bulletin board. For us, it is clearly an unwelcome demonstration of self-aggrandizement."
The 9-by-15-inch work, done on a frameless canvas, was affixed to the wall with double-sided tape. A label taped next to the painting said it was made with "acrylic, legal tender and the artist's semen."
Apparently no one saw it being put up.
Similar paintings of Bush and Clinton were left Saturday at the Guggenheim Museum. Police and FBI agents determined there was no threat to the public, authorities said.
Also targeted were the National Gallery of Art in Washington and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the New York Post reported Wednesday.
Representatives of those three museums declined to comment or were not immediately available when contacted by The Associated Press.
Citing an unidentified source, the Post said the intruder left typewritten notes at all four locations that read: "I mixed my semen in some acrylic gel medium and I painted it in the right hand corner of this piece of art. It is an artistic reference to the silent power of the biological sciences."
Although the museum screens visitors' bags, Holzer said the small painting would not have raised any alarms and would not have been confiscated, because many museum visitors go to the Met to sketch.___
Associated Press Writer Tom Hays contributed to this report.
"Ronald Reagan was the most popular president ever to leave office," explained ABC anchor Elizabeth Vargas (6/6/04). "His approval ratings were higher than any other at the end of his second term." Though the claim was repeated by many news outlets, it is not true; Bill Clinton's approval ratings when he left office were actually higher than Reagan's, at 66 percent versus Reagan's 63 percent (Gallup, 1/10-14-01). Franklin Delano Roosevelt also topped Reagan with a 66 percent approval rating at the time of his death in office after three and a half terms.
In general, Reagan's popularity during his two terms tends to be overstated. The Washington Post's lead article on June 6 began by declaring him "one of the most popular presidents of the 20th Century," while ABC's Sam Donaldson announced, "Through travesty, triumph and tragedy, the president enjoyed unprecedented popularity." The Chicago Tribune (6/6/04) wrote that "his popularity with the electorate was deep and personal... rarely did his popularity dip below 50 percent; it often exceeded 70 percent, an extraordinarily high mark."But a look at Gallup polling data brings a different perspective. Through most of his presidency, Reagan did not rate much higher than other post-World War II presidents. And during his first two years, Reagan's approval ratings were quite low. His 52 percent average approval rating for his presidency places him sixth out of the past ten presidents, behind Kennedy (70 percent), Eisenhower (66 percent), George H.W. Bush (61 percent), Clinton (55 percent), and Johnson (55 percent). His popularity frequently dipped below 50 percent during his first term, plummeted to 46 percent during the Iran-Contra scandal, and never exceeded 68 percent. (By contrast, Clinton's maximum approval rating hit 71 percent.)
Ice Cream Prices on the Rise
Wednesday, June 9, 4:20 p.m. By Megan Dardanell
These are hard times for Mister Softee. Higher prices at the pump and the dairy are forcing prices up at the ice cream truck. That means customers in Scranton are paying more for their frozen treats.
When the weather's nice Mister Gary's Mister Softee shows up on the courthouse square in Scranton like clock work and ice creams fans quench their craving. But customers are noticing something different. Black tape covers the price list and a notice hangs in the window. The prices are up here by 25 cents across the board.
"The way the price of milk is and ice cream and gas, to get it right to your door, diesel to keep it cold, we had to raise it a quarter," said Steve King of Mister Softee. Some people haven't noticed the change. They said a small price increase won't keep them from their ice cream. But they wouldn't pay more than $2 for their treats.
Others don't want to spend the extra money. Some customers have walked away because of the 25 cent price increase. Mr. Softee hopes it's a temporary increase.
"Hopefully by the middle of the summer prices go down and we take these stickers down and go back to old prices," said King.
For now, customers will have to get used to the new prices if they want their old favorite.
It's hard to argue with that.
God, I love self-organizing group effort! Now, I need me a drink. A Shandy Gaff, mayhap.
BUDAPEST (Reuters) - "Boys, if you vote for the liberals, I'll strip," a girl in jeans and a revealing shirt teases Hungarian voters in a mock advert for the European elections.
It was filmed for a joke during the shooting of the liberal Free Democrats official broadcast, in which the girl features, campaign coordinator Gabor Horn told Hungarian news portal index.hu.
The Web site has posted the seven-second clip.
The short ad is a lighter moment in an increasingly bitter campaign for the June 13 elections in which the ruling party Socialists and opposition Fidesz sling mud at each other.
WARNING: These are not 'ordinary' books in any way or form!
14 Amazing Books reveal all concerning: the real Yahweh, the real Elohim, the real Adam and Eve, the real "serpent" in the real Garden of Eden, plus 1,000's of other Forbidden Knowledge and Strange Secrets!
Nor does their graphic design and web-site in any way approach 'ordinary'.
We begin bombing in five minutes.
The 1.6 oz. Philips camcorder is roughly half the size of a mobile phone, but it packs the functionality of four devices: a MPEG-4 camcorder; a two mega-pixel digital still camera; a MP3 player; and a USB flash drive.
The price is still well above $200. Call me when it drops below $40....
LONDON (Reuters) - British artist Damien Hirst, who uses dead animals in his work, promised to apologize for a "mix-up" Thursday, after a rotting cow was left outside his studio over a long holiday weekend.
Inspectors visited the studio in Gloucestershire, southwest England over the weekend and took the putrid remains of an animal away to incinerate them, after neighbors complained of a horrible smell.
A spokeswoman at Hirst's studio confirmed that the remains were those of a dead cow.
"It was at the rear of the studio in a plastic-contained bin," she said.
"It's a communication mix-up between the contractor who was collecting it and a member of staff. So it was left over the bank holiday weekend, which was very unfortunate."
She said Hirst planned to apologize for leaving the dead animal out. She would not say what the artist had used it for.
The artist won Britain's Turner Prize in 1995 for "Mother and Child, Divided," which featured an adult cow and a baby calf, each split in half, pickled in formaldehyde and displayed in glass tanks. Local authorities in Gloucestershire said they were investigating to see whether any regulations were broken when the animal was left in the street.
The famous East African elephant herd (of Loxodonta africana, that is to say) is, of course, the centerpiece of the Akeley Hall of African Mammals at the American Museum of Natural History. For the first time these specimens are undergoing high-definition digital radiography in a $175,000 study that, with luck, will answer this crucial question: How can this 68-year-old exhibition best be saved?
multiple versions. etc.
Below $50, with 8meg storage and color LCD. Available only at WalMart, the rotting b******s.
However, TinyCams doesn't seem to be shedding too many tears over its ease-of-use and image quality.
Video-game characters in a comic strip were not unheard of, but the remarkable thing about Anez's comic was that rather than using drawings of the characters, he used the actual video-game character art -- "sprites" in programming jargon -- along with some simple backgrounds and word balloons. The effect re-created the feel of the game with a minimum of artistic effort.
The great Soviet film-maker Andrei Tarkovsky always carried a Polaroid camera with him. His son, Andrei A Tarkovsky, explains the background to some of the pictures. Instant Light, Tarkovsky Polaroids edited by Giovanni Chiaramonte and Andrei A. Tarkovsky, is published by Thames & Hudson on June 1 2004, priced £14.95 and available from all good bookshops or online.
via News of the Dead.
I saw the Sensation show when it was in Brooklyn. Liked some of it.
A Flash app to visualize the Google newsfeed. You can select various countries and topic areas. The creators other Flash (& image) experiments are worth viewing, as well.
Saturday's St. Ubaldo's Day Race of the Saints was amazing. It wasn't a spectacle of spectacles, it wasn't mobbed by hundreds of thousands, it wasn't a thrilling race to the finish line: it was a small town coming out en masse (several thousand, at least), to watch a ritualized tradition that dates back nearly 1000 years to Gubbio, Italy—transplanted into NorthEastern Pennsylvania. It was fantastic.
I took a bunch of photos, and have some more that I haven't sorted out yet. Somehow, I'm lacking a good photo of my host, Jeff Fowler, and his very generous family who hosted a party attended by many. Jeff if one of the co-founders of the regional indie-movie resource MovieCake. A rough-cut of their production Who's Famous Now was screened that aftenoon--while it was still warm and sunny, of course. After the race when the sun was gone and it turned cold, we all sat outside in the dark. Of course.