Saturday, September 6, 2014

Titan is ranting again

See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
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Airglow, Gegenschein, and Milky Way
Image Credit & Copyright: Yuri Beletsky (Las Campanas Observatory, Carnegie Institution)
Explanation: As far as the eye could see, it was a dark night at Las Campanas Observatory in the southern Atacama desert of Chile. But near local midnight on April 11, this mosaic of 3 minute long exposures revealed a green, unusually intense, atmospheric airglow stretching over thin clouds. Unlike aurorae powered by collisions with energetic charged particles and seen at high latitudes, the airglow is due to chemiluminescence, the production of light in a chemical reaction, and found around the globe. The chemical energy is provided by the Sun's extreme ultraviolet radiation. Like aurorae, the greenish hue of this airglow originates at altitudes of 100 kilometers or so dominated by emission from excited oxygen atoms. The gegenschein, sunlight reflected by dust along the solar system's ecliptic plane was still visible on that night, a faint bluish cloud just right of picture center. At the far right, the Milky Way seems to rise from the mountain top perch of the Magellan telescopes. Left are the OGLE project and du Pont telescope domes.
Titan is back and wants to share a view of air glow, gegenschein and the Milky Way.   Usually air glow is subvisible, so it is nice to have a chance to see it.

For starters, let us refer you to the Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights action blog. Over a year and a half have gone by without Miriam and we continue to realize what we have lost. She got us into the human rights struggle. Please act on behalf of people who are so much in need of support in their trials and tribulations at the hands of oppressive regimes and corporations.

This week Titan is referring you to Oxfam Unwrapped. It is a way of giving gifts to your friends and family who have everything. How it works: You choose one of the exciting gifts from the Oxfam Unwrapped catalog. A personalized card goes to you or your friend or loved one – it shows how your gift is making a real difference. Your donation turns into a gift for those who need it most. From water jugs to school books to goats, all Oxfam Unwrapped gifts benefit those living in poverty.
Selina, the benificiary of a goat from Oxfam Unwrapped
When we bought Maya a goat in Botswana for her 18th birthday, her father, who is not an animal fan, heard her telling her friend on the phone "...Grandpa bought me a goat." He was not amused by the idea until explanations were made.

IN MEMORIAM  Joan Rivers, 1933-2014.
Comedian Joan Rivers poses next to her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame,July 26, 1989.
Comedienne Joan Rivers poses next to her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame,July 26, 1989. Photo by AP
The great comedy star has just died in New York. She broke into comedy when women were still very much marginalized  and paved the way for the generation that followed her. Her mastery of the acid one-liner never wavered in a career that spanned five decades. We always enjoyed her style and quick wit. Full obituaries are in the NYTimes and the Guardian.

We are enraged by the report of the beheading of another American journalist

 and by the reported beheading of a Kurdish man.

In the meantime, the world's leaders dither in Wales. HARRY TRUMAN, WHERE ARE YOU WHEN WE NEED YOU? The lessons of the Rhineland and of Munich seem to have been forgotten. A dictator like Putin or the self-styled Caliph of Iraq and Syria Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a.k.a. Caliph Ibrahim
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.(Reuters / Social Media Website)
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.(Reuters / Social Media Website)
 or the leader of the the Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau
The leader of the Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has praised militants in Iraq

 --any one of them can apparently test the resolve of the West and win. The silly media are busy with the suit that Obama wore to his press conference or the hacking of a few nude photos of some movie stars. A few sounds of potential action are starting to be heard, but do not hold your breath.

Since the Fukushima meltdown over three years ago, the situation there has been getting worse. Now we are told that a similar danger exists in California. A large reactor is sitting on a recently discovered major fault at Diablo Canyon, near Avila Beach in San Luis Obispo County, California.
Diablo Canyon

The government is doing very little and the public is not being made aware of the danger. Read more and shudder. Fukushima itself is not being managed properly in the aftermath of the disaster and another significant earthquake in Japan could devastate North America and eliminate Japan as a habitable place.

The guns have fallen silent, but nothing is happening to indicate that anything is being done to prevent a replay of this story in two years or so. The most recent blow to the prospects of peace is  the land grab that was called a "proper Zionist reaction" to the killing of the three boys. Never mind that this is a collective punishment of the Palestinians which is forbidden by the Geneva Convention. It is designed to put to rest forever any hope of a territorial compromise or reasonable borders for a viable Palestinian state alongside Israel. We are also cutting ourselves off from the world and even from Jewish communities that are getting fed up. Of course, we do have our knee-jerk supporters who think that the word of God comes from Natanyahu's press office, such as Rabbi Block who dropped the NYTimes because it was not pro-Israel enough.

In truth, as said long ago by Cicero, one should not blame the political leaders, but the stupid masses who elect them. Yossi Sarid has it right, the masses are asses. Of course, while democracy is indeed a bad way to run things, all others that have been tried are worse. In the meantime, we slide down our moral slope to hell, as well put by Bradley Burston, Mordechai Kremnitzer and Asher Schechter.   The human rights organization B'tselem tried to broadcast a list of names of Gazan children killed and was denied. The Supreme Court held up the denial. It seems that universal humanity is not an Israeli value  and cannot be tolerated. The future is bleak.
Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, July 15, 2014.
FILE PHOTO: Palestinians inspect the rubble of a destroyed building after it was hit by an Israeli airstrike in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, July 15, 2014. Photo by AP

There will be no intervention from outside because the Europeans have their own problems and the US Congress has been properly bribed. We march on to the  apartheid state that our right wing and religious leaders wish to impose on us. Have a nice week.

A woman, Avital Rokach, complained to the police that her ex-husband was threatening her. He was arrested and released by court order with restrictions. A few days later, Rokah's son called police to warned them of fears that the ex-husband might attack his mother. Officers were deployed to the house and advised her to go to a shelter for battered women, Israel Police said. She declined and her body was found last Thursday with stab wounds in all parts of her body in an entrance to a residential building in Jerusalem. We quote her son Laor: "We went to the police station; we asked how it is possible that he is being released. Last Thursday I tried to talk to the police. I called several call centers. I kept on being transferred. No one was answering, no one was talking. I was treated with indifference and we could not understand whether the discussion would take place or not".

"On Saturday evening, after we arrived at the police station and were told that he had been released, the police station chief said that it was the judge's decision and that his hands were tied"
, the son added, wondering: "How could it be that a judge releases a man like that who bought an ax and knives and who threatened to murder? He has a criminal record and he had a restraining warrant against him before, which he violated".

Titan thinks that both the judge and the police have blood on their hands.


What If? asks: People sometimes say "If I had all the money in the world ..." in order to discuss what they would do if they had no financial constraints. I'm curious, though, what would happen if one person had all of the world's money?

Daniel Pino

Rather discouraging reply--Titan would settle for 1 billionth of it and in large notes please.

We feel empathy for Grandpa
Barney & Clyde Cartoon for Sep/04/2014

The search for intelligent life in the universe goes on. It would be nice if we could find it on Earth.
The Search

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