Tuesday, September 15, 2009

William Orest Baird

3 Hours active labor. 12 minutes pushing. Poor kid got seriously bruised. Funny part is that Lyuda asked for a kid that would, y'know, EAT this time. hahahahaha. Be VERY careful what you wish for.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


The birth of William Orest Baird at 0632 PT today, Thursday September 10, 2009.

Bouncing baby boy is 8 lbs 9 oz and 21 1/2 inches long. He has black hair.

Mom and baby are doing well.

Avrora is at a friend's doing her first sleepover.

I...I am going to go crash.

Orest is the russified version of Orestes, much like Avrora is for Aurora. Who was Orestes? Go look him up. :P

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Cray Gets KMA Contract for $40 Million

Global supercomputer leader Cray Inc. (NASDAQ: CRAY) today announced that it has signed a multi-year, multi-phase contract to provide the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) with a next-generation supercomputer. Valued at more than $40 million, the award is one of the largest in the area of operational numerical weather prediction in the world to-date, and will provide KMA with the necessary supercomputing, storage and data management technologies to reinforce its position as one of the world's premier weather forecasting and research centers.

600 teraflops and it's an XT5.

Belated Congratz to SpaceX

ORBCOMM Inc. (Nasdaq: ORBC) and Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) announce they have reached an agreement for SpaceX to launch 18 ORBCOMM Generation 2 (OG2) satellites to begin as early as the fourth quarter of 2010 through 2014. SpaceX will deliver ORBCOMM's second-generation satellites into low Earth orbit (LEO) for the purpose of supporting ORBCOMM's existing constellation of satellites, adding new features, and growing its global Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Automatic Identification System (AIS) offerings.


Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and Astrium announce a contract for a SpaceX Falcon 1e to launch an Earth observation satellite designed by Astrium or its recently acquired subsidiary Surrey Satellite Technology (SSTL).

That's starting to look like a solid customer base.

Friday, September 04, 2009

hmmm. Is it Just me?

Is it me or does James Cameron's newest (Avatar) seem like a bad case of James Nicoll's Honky blended with the whole noble savage theme?

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Team Phoenicia PayPal Drive: ouch

We've hit 1.8 2.3 2.7 3.0% of what we need.


We have a week to raise the money too. :S I know we can do this. You guys have GOT to have $20. We have a lot of tank space we can sell still.

Whether or not we are officially in the LLC, we're going to fly.

BTW, thank you, Becca. And Alden. And Verrill. And Matt.

Eurabia, 5005 BC

Central and western Europe's first farmers weren't crafty, native hunter-gatherers who gradually gave up their spears for seeds, a new study says.

Instead, they were experienced outsiders who arrived on the scene around 5500 B.C. with animals in tow—and the locals apparently didn't roll out the welcome wagon.

"Within a few generations, all the farmers—probably coming from southeast Europe—moved into central Europe bringing their culture, [livestock], and everything," Joachim Burger, a molecular archaeologist at the University of Mainz in Germany, said via email.

The finding is based on analysis of genetic material in the skeletal remains of ancient hunter-gatherers and early farmers found in Germany, Lithuania, Poland, and Russia—though farming is thought to have reached areas as far west as western France during the period of rapid expansion, about 7,500 years ago.

The study goes against a long-standing idea that Europe's first farmers were former hunter-gatherer populations that had settled the region after the last ice age, about 10,000 years ago.

Perhaps, the thinking went, the hunter-gatherers had observed farming practices during their travels or had learned from neighbors.

Instead, the researchers found, the hunter-gatherers and the early farmers remained segregated, according to the study, to be published tomorrow in the journal Science.

Though the two groups had "cultural contacts," Burger said, they generally didn't mate, at least initially, according to the genetic analysis.

"We have to think of parallel existing societies of hunter-gatherers and farmers," Burger said. "They were different people."

Ok, so I trolled on the post name. Byte me! :P

India's Near Term Space Exploration Plans

After giving up on re-establishing contact with the Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Chairman G. Madhavan Nair announced the space agency hopes to launch its first mission to Mars sometime between 2013 and 2015. Nair said the termination of Chandrayaan-1, although sad, is not a setback and India will move ahead with its plans for the Chandrayaan-2 mission to land an unmanned rover on the moon’s surface to prospect for chemicals, and in four to six years launch a robotic mission to Mars.

"We have given a call for proposal to different scientific communities," Nair told reporters. "Depending on the type of experiments they propose, we will be able to plan the mission. The mission is at conceptual stage and will be taken up after Chandrayaan-2."

Another Moon Orbiter. A moon rover. A Mars mission. Sweet! That's awesome that the Indians are participating.

Next Medea Post soon. Promise.

India's Carbon Output to Triple Over 20 Years

India's per capita greenhouse gas emissions are expected to nearly triple in the next two decades, but will still remain below the current global average, a government-backed report said.

The data released late on Wednesday showed the current per capita rate at around 1.2 tonnes per year, compared to the global average of 4.22 tonnes.

Five different studies released by independent institutions concluded that India's per capita emissions of carbon dioxide equivalent would reach 2.1 tonnes in 2020 and 3.5 tonnes in 2030.

India's per capita output is one of the lowest globally, but given its massive population it is one of the top polluters in the world.

Speaking at the launch, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said the data would help to inform debate at global climate change talks in Copenhagen in December.

"India should be seen to be part of the solution," he said.

But Ramesh cautioned that the numbers were "open to peer review" and that the government did not agree with all of them.

The studies found that India's total emissions are estimated to reach between four billion and 7.3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2031.

India has long rejected binding carbon emission targets on the grounds that they would hinder economic growth and development.

Blend with China's carbon output to quadruple by 2050 at a minimum, again, I say Global Warming is Inevitable. I really need to write a few articles about this. As if I have time. Lol. When Baird Baird Mk2 arrives I'm taking a month of paternity leave. When everyone has crashed out, perhaps I can write some. The least I can do is update the very outdated graph on the first post: the carbon emissions of China and India are grossly underestimated compared to now. China's carbon emissions were expected to cross the US' around 2015. That happened in reality eight years early.

Canada's NorthWest Passage 2009

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Methane Hydrates May Already Be Collapsing

Scientists worry that rising global temperatures accompanied by melting permafrost in arctic regions will initiate the release of underground methane into the atmosphere. Once released, that methane gas would speed up global warming by trapping the Earth's heat radiation about 20 times more efficiently than does the better-known greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide.

An MIT paper appearing in the Journal of Geophysical Research online Aug. 29 elucidates how this underground methane in frozen regions would escape and also concludes that methane trapped under the ocean may already be escaping through vents in the sea floor at a much faster rate than previously believed. Some scientists have associated the release, both gradual and fast, of subsurface ocean methane with climate change of the past and future.

"The sediment conditions under which this mechanism for gas migration dominates, such as when you have a very fine-grained mud, are pervasive in much of the ocean as well as in some permafrost regions," said lead author Ruben Juanes, the ARCO Assistant Professor in Energy Studies in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

"This indicates that we may be greatly underestimating the methane fluxes presently occurring in the ocean and from underground into Earth's atmosphere," said Juanes. "This could have implications for our understanding of the Earth's carbon cycle and global warming."

Juanes explains that some of the naturally occurring underground methane exists not as gas but as methane hydrate. In the hydrate phase, a methane gas molecule is locked inside a crystalline cage of frozen water molecules. These hydrates exist in a layer of underground rock or oceanic sediments called the hydrate stability zone or HSZ. Methane hydrates will remain stable as long as the external pressure remains high and the temperature low. Beneath the hydrate stability zone, where the temperatures are higher, methane is found primarily in the gas phase mixed with water and sediment.

But the stability of the hydrate stability zone is climate-dependent.

If atmospheric temperatures rise, the hydrate stability zone will shift upward, leaving in its stead a layer of methane gas that has been freed from the hydrate cages. Pressure in that new layer of free gas would build, forcing the gas to shoot up through the HSZ to the surface through existing veins and new fractures in the sediment. A grain-scale computational model developed by Juanes and recent MIT graduate Antone Jain indicates that the gas would tend to open up cornflake-shaped fractures in the sediment, and would flow quickly enough that it could not be trapped into icy hydrate cages en route.

"Previous studies did not take into account the strong interaction between the gas-water surface tension and the sediment mechanics. Our model explains recent experiments of sediment fracturing during gas flow, and predicts that large amounts of free methane gas can bypass the HSZ," said Juanes.

Using their model, as well as seismic data and core samples from a hydrate-bearing area of ocean floor (Hydrate Ridge, off the coast of Oregon), Juanes and Jain found that methane gas is very likely spewing out of vents in the sea floor at flow rates up to 1 million times faster than if it were migrating as a dissolved substance in water making its way through the oceanic sediment — a process previously thought to dominate methane transport.

"Our model provides a physical explanation for the recent striking discovery by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of a plume 1,400 meters high at the seafloor off the Northern California Margin," said Juanes. This plume, which was recorded for five minutes before disappearing, is believed not to be hydrothermal vent, but a plume of methane gas bubbles coated with methane hydrate.


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Japanese To Invest In Space Based Power?

Mitsubishi Electric Corp. and IHI Corp. will join a 2 trillion yen ($21 billion) Japanese project intending to build a giant solar-power generator in space within three decades and beam electricity to earth.

A research group representing 16 companies, including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., will spend four years developing technology to send electricity without cables in the form of microwaves, according to a statement on the trade ministry’s Web site today.

“It sounds like a science-fiction cartoon, but solar power generation in space may be a significant alternative energy source in the century ahead as fossil fuel disappears,” said Kensuke Kanekiyo, managing director of the Institute of Energy Economics, a government research body.

Japan is developing the technology for the 1-gigawatt solar station, fitted with four square kilometers of solar panels, and hopes to have it running in three decades, according to a 15- page background document prepared by the trade ministry in August. Being in space it will generate power from the sun regardless of weather conditions, unlike earth-based solar generators, according to the document. One gigawatt is enough to supply about 294,000 average Tokyo homes.

Takashi Imai, a spokesman for the Institute of Unmanned Space Experiment Free Flyer, which represents the 16 companies, confirmed the selection when reached by phone in Tokyo.


Multiple Extinctions in the Early Triassic?

Evidence from ammonoids and conodonts for multiple Early Triassic mass extinctions

Steven M. Stanley

Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822

E-mail: stevenst@hawaii.edu


Ammonoids and conodonts, being characterized by exceptionally high background rates of origination and extinction, were vulnerable to global environmental crises, which characteristically intensified background rates of extinction. Thus, it is not surprising that these taxa suffered conspicuous mass extinctions at the times of three negative Early Triassic global carbon isotopic excursions that resembled those associated with the two preceding Permian mass extinctions. In keeping with their high rates of origination, both the ammonoids and conodonts rediversified dramatically between the Early Triassic crises. Other marine taxa, characterized by much lower intrinsic rates of origination, were held at low levels of diversity by the Early Triassic crises; because global mass extinctions affect all marine life, these taxa must have experienced relatively modest expansions and contractions that have yet to be discovered, because they do not stand out in the fossil record and because the stratigraphic ranges of these taxa, being of little value for temporal correlation, have not been thoroughly studied.

REading the paper now...more comments another time. Today is going to be a mess. The whole next two months are going to be, truthfully.