Thursday, November 16, 2017

CPT Internet Highlights - Star Refuses to Die


This star refuses to die, even after it explodes

Swapna Krishna,Engadget

This star refuses to die, even after it explodes

Supernovae are some of the brightest and most energetic events in our galaxy. These occur when stars that have much greater mass than that of our sun explode; they become incredibly bright, and then slowly fade over the course of a few months as they lose energy. Under the terms of how we traditionally understand the life cycle of a star, a supernova inevitably means stellar death. Or does it? Astronomers working at Hawaii's Keck Observatory have found a star that refuses to die.
The supernova, named iPTF14hls, has exploded multiple times over the last fifty years. Rather than giving into death in the cold wastes of space, this singular star is seemingly in a cycle of continually absorbing matter, collapsing and exploding. The team first took note of the star in 2014 because it had gone supernova and was starting to fade. But then, a few months later, the team noticed that the star was becoming brighter again.
When the astronomers looked at records, they noticed that a supernova had occurred at that same location in 1954. The star had not only somehow survived, but had gone on to explode again in 2014. "This supernova breaks everything we thought we knew about how they work. It's the biggest puzzle I've encountered in almost a decade of studying stellar explosions," Iair Arcavi, the lead author of the study (which was published in Nature) said in a press release.
It's not clear why this star refuses to die, but it could have something to do with its size. It's at least 50 times more massive than our own star. Our conventional rules about how stars work might not apply to something of that size. The star could also have antimatter at its core that fuels its cycle of explosions, a hypothesized result of its extreme mass and temperature. Regardless of the reason, we appreciate this star's resilience
·         This article originally appeared on Engadget.


Usually, when something explodes, that's it—it's done. That's true even in space, where stars routinely blow themselves up. Now astronomers think they've spotted something remarkable: a star that has exploded twice and whose current explosion just keeps going. They reported their findings in a paper published Wednesday in the journal Nature.
Those findings are based on studying a star that scientists had written off as not being very interesting at first. Until, that is, an intern looked back at the data and saw something weird. "He saw it had faded and then gotten bright again, and that's what caught his attention," said first author Iair Arcavi, an astronomer at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Las Cumbres Observatory. "That is very not normal. Supernovae are supposed to get bright and then fade."

The aftermath of a typical, short-lived supernova as it fades. NASA'S GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER/ESA/HUBBLE/L. CALCADA

But this one, called iPTF14hls, just kept going and going. First spotted in September 2014, it has brightened and dimmed five times since then, a phenomenon scientists had never seen before.
And when astronomers looked back at their records, they found something even weirder: An explosion in exactly the same part of the sky back in 1954. "We can't tell for sure that it's the same star exploding," Arcavi said. "But since supernovae are so rare and the galaxy is pretty small, we consider there's about a 95 to 99 percent chance that it's the same star."
Arcavi and his colleagues aren't positive yet what might be happening inside the star to cause such a weird pattern. But he pointed to a theory called pulsational pair instability as one possible explanation. Under this scenario, a star about 100 times as large as our sun could become so hot deep in its core that energy could turn into matter and antimatter, which would make the star unstable.
The star would then act like someone shoveling snow and gradually shedding outerwear: As it became unstable, it would eject a layer of mass, which would make it stable again for a limited time before heat builds up again. Each successive layer would eventually collide with its predecessor, which could explain the current pattern astronomers are seeing.

The yellow line traces the unprecedented cycle of brightening and dimming that astronomers have watched unfold.​LCO/S. ​WILKINSON.

But the pulsational pair instability theory doesn't perfectly match the data Arcavi and his colleagues had gathered. In particular, they found much more hydrogen in 2014 than they would have expected in a star that has already exploded, since hydrogen is the lightest element and therefore the easiest to lose.
"It's the theory that comes the closest to explaining this," Arcavi said of pulsational pair instability. "But it could also be something else. It could be something completely new, which is even more exciting."
It's unusual to even be able to keep watching a phenomenon like this every few days for three years, Arcavi added. Scientists have only caught the iPTF14hls antics thanks to a global network of robotic observatories that makes collecting data cheaper and easier. Fortunately, the same technique could increase astronomers' odds of seeing a similar event in the future—and coming one step closer to cracking the secret of the star that just doesn't want to die. 

CPT Internet Highlights - Antarctica Volcano Powerful as Yellowstone


Volcano 'as powerful as Yellowstone' MELTS ice beneath Antarctica
A GIGANTIC volcano which could be as powerful as the dreaded Yellowstone is melting Antarctic ice from beneath the surface, Nasa scientists have revealed.
PUBLISHED: 16:40, Thu, Nov 9, 2017 | UPDATED: 16:45, Thu, Nov 9, 2017

Volcano 'as powerful as Yellowstone' MELTS ice beneath Antarctica
Experts working at the South Pole have found evidence to support a theory that a gigantic geothermal heat source may be lurking beneath the surface – and it could be as devastating as the Yellowstone volcano.
Scientists first theorised the ice was melting due to a volcano when they noticed a breathing effect was visible on Antarctica's Marie Byrd Land in the west of the icy continent.
The volcano itself is not a new discovery, but the new research suggests it could be aiding global warming and could be why the ice sheet collapsed 11,000 years ago in a previous example of rapid climate change.
Hélène Seroussi of Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, said: "I thought it was crazy. I didn't see how we could have that amount of heat and still have ice on top of it.”

The land beneath the ice of Antarctica
Ms Seroussi and Erik Ivins of JPL used the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM), which is a mathematical model that uses the physics of the ice sheets, to look for heat sources and meltwater deposits.
The melted water beneath the surface lubricates the ice sheets, allowing glaciers to slide.
And the information can also be used to estimate how much ice will be lost in the future.

"I didn't see how we could have that amount of heat and still have ice on top of it."
The underwater systems in the Antarctic can cause surface ice to rise by at least six metres over a short time frame, allowing scientists to observe concentrations of water sources beneath the surface.
In a statement, Nasa said: “They found that the flux of energy from the mantle plume must be no more than 150 milliwatts per square meter. 
 “For comparison, in US regions with no volcanic activity, the heat flux from Earth's mantle is 40 to 60 milliwatts.
"Under Yellowstone National Park – a well-known geothermal hot spot – the heat from below is about 200 milliwatts per square meter averaged over the entire park.”

CPT Internet Highlights - Russian Genius Child and Egyptian Sphinx


Top of Form
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Russian 'genius child' says Egyptian Sphinx holds life changing key to Life beyond Earth
A "GENIUS" Russian who has confounded experts for 20 years claims he was a once Martian and life will change once the Sphinx is "unlocked".
PUBLISHED: 00:01, Wed, Nov 8, 2017 | UPDATED: 00:08, Wed, Nov 8, 2017
Boriska Kipriyanovich, 20, has allegedly baffled experts with his knowledge of outer space since he was a child.

He claims to have flown to ancient Egypt as a pilot.
When he was a schoolboy, he said the Martians have a strong connection to the ancient Egyptians on Earth.
He said life on Earth will change when the Great Sphinx in Giza is “unlocked”.
He added the opening mechanism is behind its ear.
He said: “The human life will change when the Sphinx is opened, it has an opening mechanism somewhere behind the ear; I do not remember exactly.”
Mr Kipriyanovich says Martians, who measure about seven-feet tall, still live underground on the planet and breathe carbon dioxide.

He explains there was a catastrophe caused by a nuclear war waged between the “beings” living there.
Apparently, there were only a few survivors who constructed protection lodges and built new weapons, so he claims.
He also claims Martians are immortal and stop ageing at am age of 35-years.

He said they are technologically advanced and capable of interstellar travel.
His parents claim he could speak only months after he was born and amazed doctors as a toddler by being able to read, write and draw by the age of two.
His mother is a doctor herself and said the first indication he was special came a couple of weeks after birth when he could hold his head up unassisted.
They say he would discuss subjects they had never taught him.
While in kindergarten, his teachers noticed his incredible writing and language talents along with astonishing memory skills, allegedly.
Getty Image Mr Kipriyanovich claims Martians live underground
His mother and father claim they never taught him anything about space as a child, but he would sit and talk about Mars, the planetary systems and alien civilisation.

They said it became his number one interest and it was not long until he started claiming to have been born on Mars.

CPT Internet Highlights - Internet Service Outage

Comcast's internet service was down in several major US cities (updated)

Rob LeFebvre,Engadget 11 hours ago 

If you rely on Comcast for your internet service, you probably know that things are down in a big way for the provider.

If you rely on Comcast for your internet service, you probably know that things are down in a big way for the provider. According to the consumer watchdog site DownDetector, there are more than 8,000 reports of outages across the US as of 1:00 PM ET on Monday.
The site notes that the recent reports of outages mostly concern internet connectivity, not television or phone service, and mostly originate from areas like Mountain View, Denver, Portland, New York, Chicago, Seattle, Houston, San Francisco, the Bronx and Minneapolis. Comcast, a major owner of NBCUniversal, does business in 40 states and the District of Columbia. The company has confirmed the issues with its Xfinity internet service, and says that it is working on a fix.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Kentucky Derby Run for the Roses is just six months away - are you ready?


So I am sitting here freezing in Maryland thanks to a vicious cold front and all I can think about is the Run for the Roses, the Kentucky Derby, now just six months away.

Well maybe not really, but I did want to get off the earliest article I ever prepared on the Derby so here it is.  Thanks to USA Sports we now have an early look at the Derby favorites though none of them could make the actual starting gate come the first Saturday in May.

By: Luke Kerr-Dineen | November 9, 2017 2:19 pm  
The 2018 Kentucky Derby is still a solid six months away, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get excited about it. Bovada released its first slate of odds today, and I must say: there’s some pretty good names in the mix.
2018 Kentucky Derby Odds
Bolt Doro 7/1
Good Magic 10/1
Hollywood Star 12/1
Mendelssohn 20/1
Montauk 20/1
Free Drop Billy 28/1
Solomini 28/1
Firenze Fire 33/1
St Patrick’s Day 33/1
The Tabulator 33/1

Engage 40/1
Sporting Chance 40/1
Avery Island 50/1
Runaway Ghost 50/1
Lone Sailor 60/1
Bravazo 66/1
Dak Attack 66/1

Enticed 66/1
Nero 66/1
Promises Fulfilled 66/1
Airtouch 85/1
Argosy Fleet 85/1
Flameaway 85/1
Mourinho 85/1
Run Away 85/1
Saxon Warrior 85/1

It’s worth noting that many of these horses won’t make it to the race. Between injuries, poor form and other issues, many of the trainers will simply opt out.
Nevertheless, as you can see, Bolt D’Oro stands as the early favorite after a solid showing at the Breeders’ Cup. I’m also quite enjoying the fact that there’s a horse named “Mourinho” — the former Chelsea and current Manchester United manager — due to run.

Attention Chinese and other students and job seekers coming to America - What they do not tell you about cultural differences…

Honor and Respect the Differences

I have had the opportunity to counsel and mentor Chinese students concerning how to adjust to life in America as well as help them understand some of the cultural differences they face.

Whether you are here for the education, or the opportunity to remain and work here, certain cultural differences do exist and your time here might be better spent if you understand them.

The English Language

Many foreign students face the fear of not being able to communicate here, and are reluctant to jump into discussions because they believe they might be misunderstood because of their difficulty speaking English.

Do not be.  First, and as a natural born American who has lived throughout the nation and was a newspaper and communications specialist, you are not alone.  America is no different than most nations, there are vast regional and geographic differences in the dialect and pronunciation of English by Americans, let alone foreigners.

A Nation of Immigrants

We take great pride being the melting pot of the world in terms of immigration.  In fact, with the exception of a few million Native Americans, everyone else in America comes from somewhere else, whether this generation or throughout our history.  In truth we are the largest nation in the world whose entire population came from somewhere else.

When our parents, grandparents, or distant relatives came to America it was to enjoy the individual freedom and self-determination the new world had to offer.  In spite of all the technology and advancements of humanity, and the stunning fact that America has only existed 241 years, people still come here for the same reason.

A great education system has been developed here, but you can find great universities all over the world.  What you cannot find is the cultural foundation of America, which is truly a melting pot for the rest for the world.  Preserving your own culture while blending into the American culture is consistent with what we do.

A Beacon of Light for the World

America has been a beacon of light for the rest of the world, even though you have thousands of years of history and we do not even have 250 years.  There is great truth in the cliché that America is “the land of opportunity,” because we were fortunate our Founding Fathers created an America that would serve as a beacon of light to all those living in other nations who faced corrupt governments, faced living with very limited rights of freedom, self-expression, the right to dissent, and the right to change leaders.

The Miracle of America

Our rapid rise from struggling colonial rule to a free and independent democracy is truly the miracle of America.  We did not have thousands of years of history to draw upon.  No form of monarchy, dictatorship, socialist, or communist structure offered what we needed.

So, our Founding Fathers created something new, that never existed before, when they wrote our Constitution.  They also recognized there were things being done in America because of the early influence of other nations, that were inherently wrong and had to be corrected in time.

Slavery could not exist in a nation guaranteeing individual freedom to all.  Nor could religious, race, or ethic rules stand in the way of equality and justice for all.  Of course, we had faults, but we also were forced to deal with the faults because our Founding Fathers created a blueprint for the future by guaranteeing freedom and liberty for all.  While all is still not well in America when it comes to bias and discrimination, we have made great strides.

Competition and Excellence

America thrives on competition and excellence using both as motivators for our economic engine, our education, and all other aspects of life.  Unfortunately, many aspects are still in need of tremendous improvement.  That does not include the economic engine of capitalism, the strength of our military, the fierce independence of our people, nor the high standard we expect in our quality of life.

Chinese students in particular might have a bit of trouble understanding this form of motivation.  What I have noticed from you are a generation of kids who grew up after the incredible turmoil of the early 20th Century as your country went from isolation under warlords, to rejection of the western ways other countries tried to impose on China, to a Communist system fighting for its life to stay separate from the Soviet Empire who was aggressively seeking to control China.

Now, after the system of Communism collapsed throughout the world, and you are one of a handful of nations still embracing the guiding principles of Communism, dramatic changes are coming to China.  In order to be a super power, and I do not claim that is such a good thing, one has to have one of the most powerful economies in history which is why there is still only one super-power.

Yet China, and India certainly will deserve a seat at the table of super powers in the near future which is good because the USA is quite tired of dining alone I can assure you.

President Xí Jìnpíng of China

Xi Jinping currently serves as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, President of the People's Republic of China, and Chairman of the Central Military Commission. 

President Xí Jìnpíng could become to China what our most beloved President Abraham Lincoln is to America, the guiding light bringing our nation out of the darkness and into the light.

Every so often in history there comes a person who changes the world for good and Xí Jìnpíng may very well be the Chinese contribution to future world security.  He is the bridge between a chaotic and troubled past and a hopeful future.  During the thousands of years of human evolution China has made many of the greatest contributions by nations through Taoism, Traditional Chinese Medicine, philosophy, art, science, and many other fields.

When we look to our past to find the things that were essential to our future, China, and India, rank among the greatest civilizations.  Ironically, many Chinese students have little awareness of their rich history because it took place before the rise of Communism, and it is a heritage you should seek out.

Sharing Cultural History

When you come to America, many of us are as hungry to learn about China as you are to learn about America.  You should be proud and aware of your rich history, and share with those you meet here.  You also should be proud of the doors to the future being opened by President Xí Jìnpíng.

Make no mistake, China and India have a long way to go to be able to offer individual freedom and equality to all their citizens, but they are making progress and that should be supported.  We in America were blessed to experience such change in the beginning of our history, not after the first 7,000 years.

No country is expected to be like America, because what works in America may be too extreme for those with a history.  The Chinese, Indians, and Russians all have gone through many leaders and “isms” in the course of their evolvement.  None ever embraced the American brand of Democracy.  It would be foreign to the people and much too radical a change.  But we can all move toward the common goal of insuring individual freedom and equality.

Know your history, be proud of the many contributions your country has made to mankind, and be willing to share that information with Americans hungry to learn about the rest of the world.

The Terracotta Army: First Emperor Qin's Buried Battalions, and the Great Wall are among the oldest of Chinese historic sites, both dating around 2,300 years ago.

Photo taken on July 13, 2016 shows a bronze cauldron at Yinxu, or the Ruins of Yin, one of China's oldest archaeological sites, in Anyang, Central China's Henan province. Named after the last capital of China's first recorded dynasty Shang (16-11 cent. BC), which was in Anyang, Henan, the Ruins of Yin were famous for the discovery of oracle bones and script. [Photo/Xinhua] 

Yin Xu

The archaeological site of Yin Xu, close to Anyang City, some 500 km south of Beijing, is an ancient capital city of the late Shang Dynasty (1300 - 1046 BC). It testifies to the golden age of early Chinese culture, crafts and sciences, a time of great prosperity of the Chinese Bronze Age. A number of royal tombs and palaces, prototypes of later Chinese architecture, have been unearthed on the site, including the Palace and Royal Ancestral Shrines Area, with more than 80 house foundations, and the only tomb of a member of the royal family of the Shang Dynasty to have remained intact, the Tomb of Fu Hao. The large number and superb craftsmanship of the burial accessories found there bear testimony to the advanced level of Shang crafts industry. Inscriptions on oracle bones found in Yin Xu bear invaluable testimony to the development of one of the world’s oldest writing systems, ancient beliefs and social systems.

Oracle bone period
Approximate dates
Yinxu I
1300–1250 BCE
Yinxu II
1250–1192 BCE
1191–1148 BCE
Yinxu III
1147–1102 BCE
Yinxu IV
1101–1046 BCE