Saturday, September 14, 2019

Science round up

Let's do a science round up.  First, Bryan Dyne (WSWS) reports:


Astronomers using observations taken with the Hubble Space Telescope have for the first time found evidence of water vapor in the atmosphere of an exoplanet that is potentially a rocky world like Earth and orbiting in its parent star’s Γ’habitable zone,Γ“ the region where liquid water could pool on the planet’s surface.
The discovery was made by two independent teams of researchers, one based in Britain and the other in Canada and the United States, using archived data from Hubble, the Kepler Space Observatory and the Spitzer Space Telescope. The work is the culmination of four years of effort by dozens of scientists and hundreds of engineers who have analyzed different parts of the data and helped maintain the spacecraft.

The exoplanet, K2-18b (also known as EPIC 201912552 b), was originally identified in 2015 by the teams that operated the now-decommissioned Kepler, one of more than 1,200 worlds discovered during the second phase of that telescope’s mission. It was found by carefully cataloging periodic drops in the brightness of the red dwarf star K2-18, using eight different observation campaigns over three years made by Hubble’s advanced Wide Field Camera 3 and after ruling out other possible ways the star’s light could be dimmed.


So that's rather big news.  So is this from Friday's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED (NPR):

AILSA CHANG, HOST:
Students holding signs that said denial is not a policy and raise your voice, not the sea chanted today outside the White House.
(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)
UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: Business as usual is not enough. Business as usual is not enough.
...A crisis. Act like it. This is a crisis. Act like it.
UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER: What do we want?
UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: Climate action.
UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER: When do we want it?
UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: Now.
UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: Hey, hey. Ho, ho. Climate change has got to go. Hey, hey...
CHANG: A protest for climate action happens every Friday here. It doesn't usually draw more than a hundred people. But today, a small 16-year-old with a braid down to her waist was there.
(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)
UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: Greta, Greta, Greta...
CHANG: Greta Thunberg started these weekly strikes for the climate last year in her home country of Sweden.
(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)
GRETA THUNBERG: But I'm just going to say that I'm so incredibly grateful for every single one of you. And I'm so proud of you.
CHANG: The movement grew. She's now been invited to speak around the world. To get to the U.S., though, she chose to sail instead of taking a plane.
(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)
THUNBERG: Never give up. We will continue. And see you next week on September 20.
(CHEERING, APPLAUSE)
CHANG: I met Thunberg today at the UN Foundation on Pennsylvania Avenue, practically right next to the White House. And I asked her if she wanted to meet with the people inside that building, many of whom are skeptical of climate science.
THUNBERG: I haven't been invited to do that yet. And honestly, I don't want to do that.
CHANG: Why not?
THUNBERG: Because I don't want to meet with people who don't accept the science.
CHANG: But don't you want to change people's minds?

THUNBERG: Yeah, but I think I'm doing that to others. And I - they don't need me to come there. If they want someone to change their mind, it should be scientists and professionals within this area. So I don't think I'm the one person to do that.



Good for those trying to save the planet.  Here's a story from PHYS.ORG:

Palorchestid marsupials, an extinct group of Australian megafauna, had strange bodies and lifestyles unlike any living species, according to a study released September 13, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Hazel Richards of Monash University, Australia and colleagues.   
For most of the last 25 million years, eastern Australia was home to a now-extinct group of marsupials called palorchestids. These animals are well known for their large size, strange tapir-like skulls, and large claws, but so far there has been no detailed study of their morphology. In this study, Richards and colleagues examined more than 60 fossil specimens of palorchestids of varying geologic ages to characterize the function and evolution of their arms and legs.
Over the course of their evolution, palorchestids grew larger and stranger. Using limb proportions as a proxy for , these authors estimated that the latest and largest of the palorchestids may have weighed over 1,000kg. Furthermore, their forelimbs were extremely muscular and were likely adapted for grabbing or scraping at leaves and branches. Uniquely among known mammals, the elbow joints of the largest palorchestids appear to have been immobile and fixed at roughly a 100-degree angle, so that the arms served as permanently flexed food-gathering tools.                                          


Now here's a science Tweet I like:


  1. I finished my two year grad program in 10 months... with honors! Beauty is dangerous but intelligence is lethal. Marvalyn A. Vernon. Masters in Molecular Medical Sciences from Liberty University.



Here are a few more science Tweets.




  1. Space news: Russian billionaire’s 15 million-strong 'Noah’s Ark' plan to colonise space | Science | News | ⚠️πŸ‘€πŸ€”...πŸ˜‚




  1. These mini-brains were sent to the International Space Station, where they are now producing brainwaves like the real thing.
  2. How Technology will help us Humans with living in Space





"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Friday, September 13, 2019.  A look at last night's  debate.

The most important moment in last night's Democratic Party presidential debate took place in the final section of the nearly three hour proceeding.  The question to identify a professional setback and how you overcame it.  When it was Joe Biden's turn to speak, a protest broke out at.  You could hear chanting but not the actual words.

Moderator George Stephanopoulos told Joe to wait a moment and that the protesters were being escorted out.  He never explained -- excuse me, he never reported what the protesters were saying or chanting.

That is your job.  Candy asses pay attention.  I know you get your egos stroked by pretending you're actually reporters when most of you barely qualify for the much more elastic term of journalist.  But if you're the 'news' portion of the debate and a protest breaks out, you need to acknowledge it and inform the viewers what is taking place.  It's beyond nonsense to pretend otherwise.

A live event moderated by people from ABC and UNIVISION's news department should be able to tell the viewers what is taking place.  But you could have watched the debate to the very end and never known what the protest was about.



  • Just to let everyone at home know the protests at the were DACA protesters reminding the candidates that they won’t be silenced


    daca recipients protesting biden, hell yeah!!!!!!




  • It was DACA recipients: "We are DACA recipients and our lives are at risk." Letting know that many of us who have DACA (including myself) do not trust him.



    The protestors were yelling, “we are DACA recipients. Our lives are at risk.” Unclear if they were TSU students.





  • They chanted "Three million deportations" which was a reference to the number of people deported when Barack Obama was president.  Though the country largely looked the other way, for those who paid attention to the issue in real time, we're aware that's why Barack was dubbed "the deporter in chief."  They chanted, "No human being is illegal on stolen land," they chanted "We are DACA, our lives are at risk," they chanted "Defend DACA" among other slogans and truths.

    Now the media tut-tut-ed after the debate about how unfair this was to poor Joe Biden.

    See, Joe was going to speak.  Well, he got to speak, grow up.

    And he got to pull his usual b.s.  'My wife and kids died.  My son Beau got back from Iraq and he died.  Wah-wah-wah, I'm a cry baby who trots to that well every damn time to prove what a titty baby I am.'

    We've all suffered deaths, Joe.  Cindy Sheehan?  Her son didn't come back from Iraq and die because Casey died in Iraq.  And he died in Iraq because people like you wanted war.

    As for your first wife?  You have a second wife.  You've been married for many, many years.  She is a wonderful person and it's a little perverse and cruel that you're always going on about your dead wife who died decades ago.  You have been married to Jill Biden for 42 years.  Most people would see that as a win.  You would have no family without her.  She is the glue.  She took the abuse -- not verbal attacks on her, not physical, but the abuse that is this nonsense of "Wah, wah, my first wife died, wah, wah" -- that is abuse and it's insulting.  She has been your wife for 42 years.  And instead of publicly celebrating that, you keep trotting out your dead first wife for sympathy.  You were married to your first wife for six years.  You've been married to Jill for 42.  Start showing her some respect in public because this whiny, titty baby crap is not only getting old, it's insulting to Jill.

    We have all lost loved ones.  That's what happens in life -- we will all die.

    When Joe was Vice President, I noted that I liked his wife (I know Joe and Jill) and that I would not mention her name at this site because if I praised her, someone could later rightly e-mail, "Why didn't you criticize her" if she said or did something that people misconstrued or whatever.

    I have nothing but respect for Jill.

    I broke the rule once and only once while she was Second Lady.  She did -- with Michelle Obama -- something really important on veterans and there was no way to note that action without mentioning her.  Other than that, I did not say her name here (or at THIRD).

    I'm saying it now because she's being disrespected by her own husband in public and it needs to stop.

    She has given Joe a happy marriage, a happy life and 42 years as his wife, you'd think Joe could show the American people his gratitude.  I'm getting sick of it.  And I do see it as abuse.  If you've been the second wife or second husband, I'm sure you'll see what I'm saying.

    42 years and still married?  She's your wife, she's your life.  Stop being a titty baby.

    The question was professional setback.

    But Joe didn't want to go there.  Might not be able to use dead relatives as a prop if he went there, right?

    The protest, which did not cut him off, he had not begun speaking, was about policies that were ripping families apart.  Joe refuses to acknowledge that in the same way that he refuses to be thankful for the good fortune he has with Jill Biden.

    He has trotted out the story of his dead first wife over and over on the campaign trail.

    But we're supposed to be offended that DACA supporters protested him?

    We haven't even touched on the fact that earlier in the debate he lied yet again about deportations.

    I'm really sorry for the pearl clutchers in the media who can't grasp that the death of wife number one nearly fifty years ago does not match the three million deportations that tore families apart.  These people have every right to protest.  And doing so was not being 'mean' to Joe Biden.

    Joe taking part in destroying their families was being 'mean' to them.

    This was an important moment in the debate.  It goes to the larger debate on immigration taking place in the country.  It goes to what I said weeks ago about how the Democratic Party better realize that this is not an issue they can use to ride to victory and then ignore -- the way they did the Iraq War in the 2006 mid-terms.  This is not going away.  The people will not be silenced.

    After that?

    The second big issue would be Julian Castro.


    The “trope” that Castro was mean to Joe Biden is steeped in white supremacy and translates as how dare that Hispanic boy, be uppity to that entitled white man, and y’all are not about to do that on Harriet Tubman’s interwebs ...FOHπŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„


    Replying to 
    They’re in a thread now rage tweeting. It’s horribly telling.




  • Julian worked in Obama’s cabinet...he has just as much right to speak about Obama as Joe! 😊




  • More. A cabinet secretary sets policy, tone and takes initiative. A Veep presides over a debating body, is given projects and upholds the tone of the administration.



    1. End of conversation

  • Replying to 
    LOL @ "Harriet Tubman’s interwebs"




  • They tried it Twin! 🀣🀣🀣🀣



    1. End of conversation

  • I thought Castro was ageist and gross talking about memory. Sam Stein rewound the tape and said he was wrong. His attacks on immigration made sense. Attack policy, like Kamala did in the first debate.




  • Julian specifically said he was attacking the fact Biden gave a different answer in the span of two minutes, not his age




  • He the said "are you forgetting what you just said?" Same Stein rewound the tape and said Castro was wrong.



    1. End of conversation

  • Replying to  
    Don’t think I’ve ever heard pundits call out Sanders for yelling, interrupting, contradicting, being argumentative, pointing his finger on debate stage as ending him as candidate. Racism writ large tonight.


    Replying to 
    I cheered Castro on when he made that point. He's 100% in the right. Biden can't have it both ways (though I realize I'm preaching to the choir w/you). PS: "Harriet Tubman's interwebs" πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•


    Replying to 
    CASTRO DID THE DAMN THING. Nobody can snatch his executive experience in the Obama administration, which gave him more credibility and a close eye into Biden's whereabouts on matters.






    As the Tweets note, Julian is being treated unfairly.  And I'm sure there's an element of anti-Latino at work.  But there's a bigger issue which is Joe Biden's is the press' pet.  You've heard of teacher's pet, Joe is that for the press.  When, in June, Julian went after Beto O'Rourke, what happened?

    The press hailed him as a hero, he was the star of the debate (there were two, he was the star's of his night, according to the press) and he would be hailed for it and, the press insisted, watch Julian rise in the polls because he was a star now.

    That didn't happen.  As we noted in real time, Julian did a poor job explaining his argument in the debate -- and would continue to do so in the after-interviews until the weekend after the debate.

    But the press loved it, the drama, they were enthralled.

    Last night, Julian's argument was made clearly.  It was a strong one.

    That was the only difference in the way he interacted with Beto in June and Joe last night.

    But the press difference is very clear.  The press and racist Amy Klobuchar.  Amy's long had a reputation as being a racist and I'd argue she really delivered on that last night.  We'll come back to her and her house divided nonsense.

    Here's Joe (NBC's transcript, by the way):

    BIDEN: Fifteen seconds. Look, everybody says we want an option. The option I'm proposing is Medicare for all -- Medicare for choice. If you want Medicare, if you lose the job from your insurance -- from your employer, you automatically can buy into this. You don't have -- no pre-existing condition can stop you from buying in. You get covered, period.
    And if you notice, nobody's yet said how much it's going to cost the taxpayer. I hear this large savings, the president thinks -- my friend from Vermont thinks that the employer's going to give you back if you negotiated as a union all these years, got a cut in wages because you got insurance. They're going to give back that money to the employee?

    Read the above closely.  ABC's Jonathan Karl didn't which is how he ended up with egg on his face yet again -- how many errors do you get to make at ABC before they fire you?  Or is he protected under some ugly looking clause that requires the network to employ X number of physically unattractive males?  I would think ABC had exceeded that quota.

    Now here's the exchange that upset so many.


    CASTRO: Thank you. And, you know, I also want to recognize the work that Bernie has done on this. And, of course, we owe a debt of gratitude to President Barack Obama. Of course, I also worked for President Obama, Vice President Biden, and I know that the problem with your plan is that it leaves 10 million people uncovered.
    Now, on the last debate stage in Detroit, you said that wasn't true, when Senator Harris brought that up. There was a fact check of that, and they said that was true.
    You know, I grew up with a grandmother who had type 2 diabetes, and I watched her condition get worse and worse. But that whole time, she had Medicare. I want every single American family to have a strong Medicare plan available.
    If they choose to hold on to strong, solid private health insurance, I believe they should be able to do. But the difference between what I support and what you support, Vice President Biden, is that you require them to opt in and I would not require them to opt in. They would automatically be enrolled. They wouldn't have a buy in.
    That's a big difference, because Barack Obama's vision was not to leave 10 million people uncovered. He wanted every single person in this country covered. My plan would do that. Your plan would not.

    BIDEN: They do not have to buy in. They do not have to buy in.

    CASTRO: You just said that. You just said that two minutes ago. You just two minutes ago that they would have to buy in.

    BIDEN: Do not have to buy in if you can't afford it.

    CASTRO: You said they would have to buy in.

    BIDEN: Your grandmother would not have to buy in. If she qualifies for Medicaid, she would automatically be enrolled.

    CASTRO: Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago? Are you forgetting already what you said just two minutes ago? I mean, I can't believe that you said two minutes ago that they had to buy in and now you're saying they don't have to buy in. You're forgetting that.

    BIDEN: I said anyone like your grandmother who has no money.

    CASTRO: I mean, look, look, we need a health care system...

    BIDEN: She -- you're automatically enrolled.

    CASTRO: It automatically enrolls people regardless of whether they choose to opt in or not. If you lose your job, for instance, his health care plan would not automatically enroll you. You would have to opt in. My health care plan would. That's a big difference. I'm fulfilling the legacy of Barack Obama, and you're not.

    BIDEN: That'll be a surprise to him.


    Julian was correct.

    And he called out Joe.

    And we're talking about life and death here.

    Julian didn't do anything different than he had with Beto.  But Joe's a beloved figure to the press and they know he can't get the nomination without them carrying him to the finish line.

    White pundits on TV - was too mean to Joe Biden. POCs - we are dying and need access to high-quality, accessible, and affordable health care. Sorry, not sorry.






    So if Julian offers actual criticism, it's time to clutch the pearls and scream for the vapors -- they did the same thing when Kamala Harris confronted Joe in the June debate.

    Now, remember, in July, Tulsi Gabbard attacked Kamala.  The press loved that.  They played it up for days, as they had Julian's attack on Beto.

    But whenever anyone attacks Joe, it's time to whine.

    Here's something else you should grasp -- that was Julian's time.  Julian had been called on to speak.  Joe's interrupting him.  Joe's cutting him off.

    You want to talk about disrespect and/or disrespect to a Latino, it's right there.  The moderators would call on the candidates for a rebuttal.  And had been doing that throughout.

    Joe did not abide by the rules -- stated at the start of the debate -- when Julian was speaking.

    Joe had already answered at length.  And then he'd been given a chance for a rebuttal (the first quote from him is his rebuttal to Bernie Sanders).

    Despite that, he has to barge into Julian's space?

    No.

    Lose the sense of entitlement, Joe.

    And shame on anyone in the media who doesn't have the guts to note that Joe has a sense of entitlement and that he's being rude due to prejudice -- whether it's Julian's age or Julian's ethnicity, he's been rude to Julian, refusing to follow the rules and taking up Julian's limited time.

    Who spoke the most in the debate?

    Joe Biden.

    He needs to learn to shut his mouth.

    People in the press are whining that Joe was protested.  Joe still got his full time, he got to deliver that same craven and disgusting talking point where he trots out dead relatives as props.

    But Julian didn't get his full time because Joe kept barging in on what was supposed to be Julian's response.

    If, like Joe, you're not getting it, let's go to the immediate remark before Julian spoke:

    STEPHANOPOULOS: This is -- health care is the top issue for everyone in the country. I want to make sure everyone gets one minute to respond. So, Secretary Castro, Andrew Yang, and then Senator Booker, you will get a minute.


    Joe had spoken and respoken on the topic.  Julian had not been given the chance to speak once.  It was finally his turn and Joe's cutting him off when it's Julian's time and, per the rules, Joe is supposed to be quiet and wait for the moderator to call him -- after Julian's done speaking -- to rebut.

    I'll note Bernie on Saturday and he did a strong job as did Elizabeth Warren who we'll note on Sunday (I've got to wrap up, we're about to speak on this topic).  (The snapshots are dictated, if you're late to the party.)

    The worst?

    Mayor Pete who is a snide and snarky tiny fellow.  Watching him on the stage I kept wishing Goldie Hawn was there with her broom (FOUL PLAY reference).  I loved that Century 21 was able to send their delegate in.  That would be Amy Klobuchar who has a seemly property in a bad area but she'll pretend it just needs a little tlc and you've got quite the fixer upper.  She was an embarrassment and she was a joke.  I noted after the June debate that she had scored on "Hey, I'm not a bitch like the press says."  That's still what she's going for all this time later.  I have never seen anyone fight less to get their own positions out there.  But she has nothing worth fighting for so that explains it.  Pete, Amy and Joe were the losers.


    The following sites updated: