Monday, November 15, 2021

Curiosity on Mars while Human Trash writes for WSWS

I'm ignoring NASA for a few months.  I have a brother who's gay.  I love him.  I'm very opposed to NASA naming the telescope after a homophobe.  It's outrageous.  I have said I would continue to note Curiosity but otherwise ignore NASA for awhile.

They've put out a press release on Curiosity:

How NASA’s Curiosity Rover Is Making Mars Safer for Astronauts

Nov 15, 2021
Mars Lava Tube Mouth
Farewell to Murray Buttes Hero images

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover used its Mast Camera, or Mastcam, to capture this image of an outcrop with finely layered rocks within the “Murray Buttes” region on lower Mount Sharp on Sept. 8, 2016. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS Full Image Details

Curosity's selfie at Murray Buttes
Mars Lava Tube Mouth
Farewell to Murray Buttes Hero images

A radiation sensor aboard the spacecraft is providing new data on the health risks humans would face on the surface.

Could lava tubes, caves, or subsurface habitats offer safe refuge for future astronauts on Mars? Scientists with NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover team are helping explore questions like that with the Radiation Assessment Detector, or RAD.

Unlike Earth, Mars doesn’t have a magnetic field to shield it from the high-energy particles whizzing around in space. That radiation can wreak havoc on human health, and it can seriously compromise the life support systems that Mars astronauts will depend on, as well.

Based on data from Curiosity’s RAD, researchers are finding that using natural materials such as the rock and sediment on Mars could offer some protection from this ever-present space radiation. In a paper published this summer in JGR Planets, they detailed how Curiosity remained parked against a cliff at a location called “Murray Buttes” from Sept. 9 to 21, 2016.

Get the Latest JPL News


While there, RAD measured a 4% decrease in overall radiation. More significantly, the instrument detected a 7.5% decrease in neutral particle radiation, including neutrons that can penetrate rock and are especially harmful to human health. These numbers are statistically high enough to show it was due to Curiosity’s location at the foot of the cliff rather than normal changes in the background radiation.

“We’ve been waiting a long time for the right conditions to get these results, which are critical to ensure the accuracy of our computer models,” said Bent Ehresmann of the Southwest Research Institute, lead author of the recent paper. “At Murray Buttes, we finally had these conditions and the data to analyze this effect. We’re now looking for other locations where RAD can repeat these kinds of measurements.”

Seasons change even on Mars and NASA's fleet of explorers are helping scientists learn more about the effects on the Red Planet.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/ASU/MSSS

A Space Weather Outpost on Mars

Most of the radiation measured by RAD comes from galactic cosmic rays – particles cast out by exploding stars and sent pinballing throughout the universe. This forms a carpet of “background radiation” that can pose health risks for humans.

Far more intense radiation sporadically comes from the Sun in the form of solar storms that throw massive arcs of ionized gas into interplanetary space.

“These structures twist in space, sometimes forming complex croissant-shaped flux tubes larger than Earth, driving shock waves that can efficiently energize particles,” said Jingnan Guo, who led a study, published in September in The Astronomy and Astrophysics Review, analyzing nine years of RAD data while she was at Germany’s Christian Albrecht University.

“Cosmic rays, solar radiation, solar storms – they are all components of space weather, and RAD is effectively a space weather outpost on the surface of Mars,” says Don Hassler of the Southwest Research Institute, principal investigator of the RAD instrument.

Solar storms occur with varying frequency based on 11-year cycles, with certain cycles bearing more frequent and energetic storms than others. Counterintuitively, the periods when solar activity is at its highest may be the safest time for future astronauts on Mars: The increased solar activity shields the Red Planet from cosmic rays by as much as 30 to 50%, compared to periods when solar activity is lower.

“It’s a trade-off,” Guo said. “These high-intensity periods reduce one source of radiation: the omnipresent, high-energy cosmic ray background radiation around Mars. But at the same time, astronauts will have to contend with intermittent, more intense radiation from solar storms.”

“The observations from RAD are key to developing the ability to predict and measure space weather, the Sun’s influence on Earth and other solar system bodies,” said Jim Spann, space weather lead for NASA’s Heliophysics Division. “As NASA plans for eventual human journeys to Mars, RAD serves as an outpost and part of the Heliophysics System Observatory – a fleet of 27 missions that investigates the Sun and its influence on space – whose research supports our understanding of and exploration of space.”

RADs Location Aboard Curiosity

The top of the Radiation Assessment Detector can be seen on the deck of NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

RAD has measured the impact of more than a dozen solar storms to date (five while traveling to Mars in 2012), although these past nine years have marked an especially weak period of solar activity.

Scientists are just now starting to see activity pick up as the Sun comes out of its slumber and becomes more active. In fact, RAD observed evidence of the first X-class flare of the new solar cycle on Oct. 28, 2021. X-class flares are the most intense category of solar flares, the largest of which can lead to power outages and communications blackouts on Earth.

“This is an exciting time for us, because one of the important objectives of RAD is to characterize the extremes of space weather. Events such as solar flares and storms are one type of space weather that happens most frequently during increased solar activity – the time we are approaching now,” Ehresmann said. More observations are needed to assess just how dangerous a really powerful solar storm would be to humans on the Martian surface.

RAD’s findings will feed into a much larger body of data being compiled for future crewed missions. In fact, NASA even equipped Curiosity’s counterpart, the Perseverance rover, with samples of spacesuit materials to assess how they hold up to radiation over time.

For more information:


News Media Contact

Andrew Good

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.


Karen Fox / Alana Johnson

NASA Headquarters, Washington

301-286-6284 / 202-358-1501 /



I love Curiosity and I'd love to write about that at length but I cannot support homophobia.  NASA owes the country an apology.


Speaking of apologies, here's White racist Tom Carter.

Tom Carter - World Socialist Web Site

Tommy, you piece of human trash, kiss my Black ass.

He's one of those people filled with hate who have to lie about others because he's so hateful and such a piece of s**t.  He writes for WSWS and he lies in each piece because he's trash.

Read Trina tonight, she's writing about that piece of garbage.  Hope SEP is happy because all their doing is running off whatever readership that they had left.  Liars don't deserve to be read.

 "Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

 Monday, November 15, 2021.  As the US economy continues to collapse, Iraq continues to await the release of the final tally of votes for October 10th's election.

Let's start in the US where there's no 'change you can believe in'  Things are worse than they were before Joe Biden was sworn in.  Abortion rights are under attack, immigrants are still being jailed and taken from their families, the government continues to spy on the citizens (and has increased the spying by sending FBI agents into parent-school conferences), Julian Assange remains persecuted, US troops remain on the ground in Iraq . . .  Go down the list.   And the economy?  Worse, much worse.  Inflation hasn't been seen at this rate since 1990.  All of this was felt and registered in the Virginia election at the start of this month but people wanted to lie and whore and be blind.  Joe Biden is failing as president.  Kamala Harris is the vice president.  It's not a significant role.  But hasn't the press decide to explore her and the way her staff works while ignoring doing the same regarding Joe Biden.

It's time to stop pretending and lying.  The media can see its image get even worse or they can get honest.  This happy talk nonsense is not working and it will not work as Christmas unfolds.  People are suffering and it is registering with them.  Where's the stimulus check, Joe?

We need a UBI (Universal Basic Income) but we're led by fools and cowards -- that refers to all the administrations of this century, not just Joe's.  The people are suffering.  A stimula check is a pittance.  But Joe can't even give that, can he.

Ebenezer Robinette Biden?

Yet he escapes questions while Kamala Harris doesn't.  Tommy Christopher (MEDEIAITE) reports that she was asked about the suffering of Americans in relation to the upcoming Christmas holiday by both ABC NEWS' Sarah Kolinovsky and BLOOMBERG NEWS' Jennifer Jacobs:

 MS. KOLINOVSKY: Thank you, Madam Vice President. A follow-up to Jen’s question on inflation: For Americans at home who are feeling the economic pinch, when do you expect they can expect to feel relief? You mentioned Christmas in your remarks. Will this be the most expensive Christmas in history after the most expensive Thanksgiving in history?

And then, on one of the provisions in the Build Back Better bill: paid family leave. Here in France, women are offered 16 weeks of paid maternity leave; fathers are offered 28 days. Is it frustrating to you that the U.S. can’t secure the same for American parents? And why is paid family leave not a red line in this package for this administration?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: So, on the inflation piece: We, as I said earlier, fully appreciate the significance of things costing more. It’s a big deal. It’s a big deal.

And so, we are doing what we can, making it probably one of our highest priorities — I talk to the President about it often — one of our highest priorities. We need to bring cost down for the American people and, in particular, for working people and working families.

And again — I’ll go back to my previous point — that is why we have been pushing so hard since the beginning for Build Back Better, because it is absolutely and almost uniquely designed to do just that — to make it easier for people to live. And, for most Americans, making it easier for them to live means bringing the cost of living down, especially for essential services.

On the piece about paid family leave: Yes, it’s frustrating. It’s something I’ve been advocating for for years, as has the President, and it was in our initial proposal. And in terms of what we believe will actually address — again, a topic of conversation — the topic of conversation on the mainstage yesterday — inequities, the inequality of systems and structures.

We know that this is an issue that disproportionately affects women and working women. We know that in the United States — and I know around the world — we have seen working women, because of the pandemic, leave the workforce at the rate in the United States; the most recent number I saw is somewhere around 2 million women have left the workforce.

And let’s be clear about this: An issue that impacts working women not only directly impacts the economy of their household, it impacts the economy of our whole society.

When you lift up the economic status of women, you necessarily lift up the economic status of families, and all of society benefits.

So, yes, I’m frustrated. And it is, I think, a shame that we are not yet a leader on this. We have work to do. And that is why the President and I are committed to doing this work. It’s important, and it matters.

And again, I’ll go back to my previous point: You know, there are those of us who have been fighting for this for a long time, and there are many more who perhaps kind of heard about it but really saw it during the pandemic.

I mean, most recently, I had the TV on but I was doing some- — I was in a briefing, I think, so I was doing something else, so I didn’t hear. But it was an image of somebody doing a Zoom, and their — one child came in — (laughs) — and then the toddler came in after that, and then somebody came in and grabbed the two kids. And then, yesterday, we saw a different example of that. But, yeah, it’s a big issue.

Let's be clear, Americans are suffering and have been suffering.  As Trina likes to point out -- and has since the early days of this pandemic -- we are not all in this together.  Those inane PSAs were supposed to lull the American people into a stupor of acceptance while the 1% stole everything that wasn't nailed down and now they're coming for the things that are nailed down.  That's what the strikes have been about -- whether it's the Kellogg workers or the John Deer workers or whomever.  The people who make the products, the people who get them there, they're the ones suffering.  Profits are huge if you're a fat cat at the top of hte chain.  And the fat cats intend to steal even more.  They won't pay fair wages, they won't offer the needed benefits.  Yet they take in all this money, more than they did before the pandemic.  They're robber barons -- plain and simple.  And Joe Biden is another useless fool who can't and won't stand up for the American people.  He'll pose as a friend to the worker but a real friend wouldn't allow for any of this to take place.

That's Jake Tapper on CNN (STATE OF THE UNION)  asking Joe Biden's economic advisor Brian Deese about reality -- the topic the White House has avoided.  CNN notes:

Deese acknowledged during his interview that inflation is "high right now," and, when asked by Tapper when inflation will go back below the 2% level considered normal, he pointed to experts estimating it would happen in 2022.
Deese would not directly answer whether Biden was willing to open the US' Strategic Petroleum Reserve or to stop gas and oil exports to address rising crude oil prices, telling Tapper: "We are very committed to do everything we can to make sure that American consumers don't bear the brunt of high gas prices and volatile energy prices and the President has made clear that all options are on the table."
"We're monitoring the situation very carefully," he said.
Biden, like Deese, was noncommittal last week on ordering a Strategic Petroleum Reserve release after the OPEC+ coalition rejected calls from the US and other big oil consuming nations to increase output by more than planned in December. 

NEWSWEEK's Xander Landen offers:

CNN host Jake Tapper pressed White House economic adviser Brian Deese on Sunday over comments President Joe Biden made in June regarding inflation, which has now reached a 31-year high.

Biden said at the time, "By the way, talk of inflation, the overwhelming consensus is it's going to pop up a little bit and then go back down."

Tapper also played a clip of Deese speaking about inflation then: "To the degree that people are focused on inflationary pressures in the short term, that really is not the issue," he said at the time.

"Do you think that you and the president were wrong and inflation is not a short-term, pop up a little bit and then go back down issue?" Tapper asked Deese.

Brian Deese's response?  "No, I don't think so, Jake."

Oh, you don't?  Well as parents struggle to put food on the table and to make a holiday for their children, they can take comfort in the fact that Brian Deese is not merely incompetent, he's also either a serial liar or just flat out living in a land of delusion.  How about he uses that wonderful health care plan that he and others officials get -- the kind the American people don't -- to get the mental help he so obviously and so sorely needs.

Sam Raskin (NEW YORK POST) writes:

President Biden in June said that “the overwhelming consensus” was that “it’s going to pop up a little bit and then go back down” — before finally acknowledging publicly Wednesday that soaring inflation was “worrisome.”

The top economist then dodged questions about when inflation will finally cool and instead spent Sunday morning minimizing the commander-in-chief’s role and pushing his $1.75 trillion Build Back Better agenda on a series of TV show appearances.

Deese's answer, by the way, is that we "move forward on the Build Back Better bill that Congress is considering,”"

I guess that response is a little better than the b.s. that Jennifer Granholm, Secretary of Energy, provided.  We covered it last week but here's the exchange:


    And it took several months, but here we are.

    I'm asking you about when Americans are going to see results from this, because we know many Americans increasingly worried about the price of gas, about the cost of goods that are being shipped, the so-called supply chain problems.

    And it caught our eye that, over the weekend, the White House said this bill is going to ease inflationary pressures, strengthen supply chains by making these long — these long-overdue improvements.

    How exactly is that going to happen? When are prices going to come down in connection with this legislation in a way that Americans can see that, touch it?


    Yes, I mean, first of all, we know that a lot of the mismatch between supply and demand is the world and the economy coming out of COVID. The quicker we can ensure that everybody's vaccinated, the quicker we get back to normal, right?

    But there's also 17 Nobel economists who said that this bill will, in fact, address inflationary pressures, especially in addressing some of the physical bottlenecks that we have seen, so the investment in our ports and in our airports, in our railway systems. So that's important as well.

    There is no doubt there will be some natural evening out of prices and inflation, as soon as we get through this COVID. But it is going to take a few months before that — before that settles out.

  • Jennifer's answer to what they will do?  Force you to take a vaccine.  She's pushing her responsibility off on the American people.  She forgets who serves who.

    As for the mandates, they're most likely illegal and Joe Biden, as a candidate for president, was against them for that reason.  It was a government over reach.  And now?  Now he's all for him.


    I can understand people being afraid.  But you can't be ruled by fear.  That's what led to the roundups at the start of this decade of Muslims.  It's what led to targeting of Muslims.  In the last century, it's what led to the round up and internment of Japanese Americans.  In this century, it led to the PATRIOT Act which should have either expired or been overturned long ago.

    In the last century?  It led ot scapegoating gay men for AIDS.  It led to foolish people attacking those with AIDS.  

    Fear is an emotion.  It shouldn't be a ruling device.

    Jonathan Turley notes:

    I recently wrote a column on the legal challenges to President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate issued through OSHA. Not only is the use of OSHA regulations unprecedented for imposing a national vaccine mandate, I noted that Chief of Staff Ron Klain went to Twitter to herald the use of OSHA as a “work around” the constitutional limitations placed on President Biden. I asked how a court would respond to such an admission. We have to wonder no more. Late Friday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit cited Klain’s comment in its decision enjoining the mandate.

    In the prior column, I noted Klain acknowledged that the use of OSHA was a “work around” in light of the constitutional barriers preventing President Biden from ordering a national mandate directly. The Fifth Circuit also picked up on that glaring admission in footnote 13:

    On September 9, 2021, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain retweeted MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle’s tweet that stated, “OSHA doing this vaxx mandate as an emergency workplace safety rule is the ultimate work-around for the Federal govt to require vaccinations.”

    I previously wrote:

    Many of us often criticized former President Trump for undermining Justice Department lawyers with damaging comments later cited by courts when ruling against his administration. Now Biden and Klain seem to be competing for the greatest admissions-against-interest, including a prior admission from President Biden that they would be pursuing a presumptively unconstitutional measure simply to buy more time to spend more money. Klain is celebrating a way to evade constitutional limitations — but for courts reviewing the OSHA rule, that is akin to a husband telling a spouse that he has found a “work-around” to his vows by redefining extramarital relations.

    The media covered Trump’s ill-advised tweets with great detail and indignation, particularly when those tweets were cited by lower courts. He was mocked for undermining his own case in court. To its credit, the Fifth Circuit did not give the Klain tweet the weight that the Ninth Circuit gave Trump’s tweets in its rulings against his immigration orders. I was critical of how those tweets were used by the Ninth Circuit and those decisions, as predicted, were ultimately reversed.

    Yet, the media is virtually silent on this and other cases where Biden and his staff have directly contradicted or undermined the position of the Administration.

    There are two world currently: the real one and the one most of the media pretends exist.  

    Turning to Iraq, AHLUL BAYT NEWS AGENCY reports:

    Iraqi sources say the deputy commander of the anti-terror Karbala Operation has been killed in an ambush in Iraq.

    Iraqi media outlets reported that Haider Hamoud al-Husseinawy was assassinated on Monday while he was heading from his workplace in the town of al-Nukhib in Anbar Province to his home in Dhi Qar Province.

    Baghdad Today cited a security source as saying that he was killed by “unknown” gunmen.

    Meanwhile, Shafaq News said al-Husseinawy “died in mysterious circumstances.”

    No further details were immediately available.

    The assassination was the second of its kind in the past few days.

    On Thursday, Abdul-Zahra Nassir al-Maleki, a member of the Iraqi intelligence apparatus, was killed by unknown gunmen.

    The assailants, who were riding a motorcycle, opened fire on al-Maleki’s car and fled to an unknown destination.

    An Iraqi political alliance on Saturday warned of US plots to assassinate political and military figures in the country and pin the blame on resistance groups, after reports said the drones that recently targeted the Iraqi premier’s house took off from the American embassy in Baghdad.  

    It's not a surprise to me.  If it is to you, maybe you're one of those people sending e-mails to the public account slamming me for "saying" that the us government tried to kill Mustafa al-Kadhimi.  

    You obviously can type.  Can you comprehend words on the screen?

    I repeatedly said I had no idea what happened.

    I also noted that the Iraqi people on social media were seeing this as a US plot to rally support for their designated choice Mustafa.  

    The Iraqi people don't support him.  They don't want him.  He's on his way out.  Then Joe gets a hail mary from the militias?  It doesn't seem logical and that's why they questioned it.

    They continue to questions it.  I'm not surprised that officials are now echoing that sentiment publicly.  

    AVA TODAY Tweets:

    More protests by pro-Iran groups over election results in Iraq

    There are a few weeks left in November, the month of December and then it's 2022.  Will a final count, an official one, be available before the end of this year?

    As unrest continues, PRESS TV reports:

    An Iraqi political alliance has warned against movements by the US to assassinate political and military officials in the Arab country and pin the blame on the country’s resistance groups, amid reports that the drones that recently targeted the Iraqi premier’s house flew out of the site of Washington’s embassy in Baghdad.

    In an interview with al-Maloumah news agency on Saturday, Mohammad al-Baldawi, a member of the Fatah (Conquest) Alliance in the Iraqi parliament, expressed surprise at the government’s foot-dragging in disclosing the facts about a recent drone attack on Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s residence.

    He said that the government accused some parties, whose loyalty to the country has been proven in the fight against the [ISIS]  terrorist group, while the real culprit behind the attack was left alone and allowed to destabilize the situation.

    The American forces are “the first and last culprit” in the incident since the airspace of Baghdad’s Green Zone, which houses foreign embassies and government offices, is protected by the US Counter-Rocket, Artillery, Mortar (C-RAM) systems and American planes are constantly flying over Iraq, Baldawi added.


    The unrest isn't going away.  I see so-called 'think' pieces from various institutes.  No one mentions SABREEN NEWS.  Maybe they're like most in the media, ignorant on Iraq?  SABREEN NEWS is relatively new (it's one year old) and it's a hugely popular news outlet that most see as a front for the militias.  However you see see it, this outlet did offer predictions a month before the elections and people continue to cite those predictions when they note problems with the vote. 

    If you're going to talk -- gas bag? -- about Iraq and the people's reaction to the vote tally, you might try examining their media landscape and the expectations that were created.

    Meanwhile, official count or no official count, outside the focus of the western press, negotiations are taking place.  Nouri al-Maliki is talking to anyone in his effort to regain the spot of prime minister or at least prevent Moqtada al-Sadr having the final say.  (The two are sworn enemies who have long opposed one another.)  Firas Adnan (ALMADA) reports that Sunni and Kurdish politicians are watching the negotiations taking place as various Shi'ite blocs try to come out on top. Saad al-Lami -- a member of the Sunni Victory Alliance --  notes that everyone is in a holding position as they await a final tally of the votes.

    The following sites updated: