KATMANDU, Nepal — An avalanche swept the slopes of Mount Everest on Friday along a route used to ascend the world’s highest peak, killing at least six Nepalese guides and leaving nine more missing, officials said.
The Sherpa guides had gone early in the morning to fix the ropes for hundreds of climbers when the avalanche hit them just below Camp 2 around 6:30 a.m., said Nepal Tourism Ministry official Krishna Lamsal, speaking from the base camp and monitoring the rescue efforts.
Four bodies have been recovered and rescuers were digging two more out of the snow, he said. Nine more Sherpas are unaccounted for and believed to be buried, he said.
Hundreds of climbers, their guides and support guides had gathered at the base camp, gearing up for their final attempt to scale the 29,035-foot peak early next month when weather conditions become favorable. They have been setting up their camps at higher altitudes and fixing routes and ropes on the slopes ahead of the final ascent to the summit in May.
As soon as the avalanche hit, rescuers and fellow climbers rushed to help. A helicopter was also sent from Katmandu.
Ang Tshering of the Nepal Mountaineering Assn. said the area where the avalanche occurred is nicknamed the “popcorn field,” which is just below Camp 2 at 21,000 feet.
Nepal had earlier announced several steps this year to better manage the flow of climbers, minimize congestion and speed up rescue operations. The preparations included the dispatch of officials and security personnel to the base camp at 17,380 feet, where they would stay throughout the spring climbing season that ends in May.
More than 4,000 climbers have scaled the summit since 1953, when it was first conquered by New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. Hundreds of others have died in the attempt.
Neil DeGrasse Tyson and the public image as social capital
By Ryan Schnurr Special to Frost Illustrated
A few weeks ago, I heard an interview with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on NPR’s Fresh Air. At one point Tyson, who is black, is asked by the interviewer when it was that he had first realized he had a gift for communicating with people about science (roughly 20:10). Below are a few excerpts from Tyson’s responses in the ensuing dialogue (though the entire interview is worth a listen if you get a chance):
“Yeah, people call it a gift, and that implies you sit there and someone hands it to you. I want to encourage people to…think in terms of ‘Wow, you work hard to succeed at that.’ Because that’s exactly what I do.…
“People say ‘Oh, you’re such a natural.’ That’s what they say, and I guess I’ll take that as a compliment.…
“You mentioned the race thing earlier, generally I never talk about race but you…did. Um, you remember the comparisons between Michael Jordan and Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics. When they describe Larry Bird’s very high, obvious talent they say ‘Oh, he’s a student of basketball, and he studies where the ball is and where people…’ and they’d talk about Michael Jordan [and] say ‘Oh, he’s just a natural’…meanwhile he was not a first-round pick out of his college or getting into college. The man worked at it. And so at some point one needs to say ‘Yes, black people who are talented work at what they did to become talented…’”
This is a bit of gold from Tyson, who has clearly excelled—through hard work—in his field of astrophysics as well as communication. He is the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History in New York and hosts an (extraordinary) update of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos this spring on PBS.
In another,earlier interview, Tyson talked a bit more about being a black scientist, recounting a story in which he was asked to comment as an expert on a Fox News show:
“It was 1989. I had never before, in my life—and I believe to this day that that was the first such occasion, ever— But I’d never before in my life seen an interview with a black person on television for expertise that had nothing to do with being black. Holding aside of course interviews with performers and musicians, or athletes, right.…
“And at that point, I realized that one of the last stereotypes that prevailed among people who carry stereotypes is that sort of black people are somehow dumb. There used to be this stereotype that blacks were, like, physically unable, right? …No one is saying blacks don’t have physical ability, that one’s done. Okay.…
“No one talks about ‘smart’ lawyers, they may say ‘a brilliant lawyer’. They’ll talk about a ‘creative’ artist. ‘Smart’ is saved for scientists. It just is. It’s not even really applied to medical doctors. It applies to scientists, in the lab, figuring stuff out that hadn’t been figured out before. So if you had visible examples of this, then whatever is your next encounter with a black person trying to squeegee your windshield at the, at the red light. And if you’re prone to saying ‘Oh these black people, they don’t work, and they’re too dumb’, you’re gonna have to remember that I just told you that earth is safe from the plasma that came from the sun, and so you’re going to have to reconcile this. You’re gonna have to be wondering ‘Well maybe this guy could have been one of those’, but for lack of opportunity, but for lack of institutions with foresight, okay.”
Notice the correlations here with physical ability. Public perception affects decision-making, and Tyson points out that stereotypical black people, at this point, are considered to be physically able—but not smart.
“They” are athletically and musically inclined, and can even excel creatively and physically because of “their” natural abilities. There’s no black caricature for intellect, and none for working really hard.
He also addresses the institutional and ideological barriers that have contributed to (read: created) the absence of minorities in certain social roles.
I’m an educated, straight, white male; an inheritance away from being the protagonist in a Wes Anderson film. And so I grew up believing I could be anything I wanted. That if I worked as hard as I could at something, I could excel.
And significantly, I never felt that any intrinsic aspect of my personhood had anything to do with who I could be or what I could do with my life.
For most of my childhood I wanted to be a baseball player, and I believed that I could. Then I wanted to be an actor, a television anchor, then a filmmaker, then a sociologist, then a writer, then a professor. And, I believed that I could be all of these.
But more than that, I knew that other people believed that I could be these things too. There didn’t seem to be any barriers other than my capacity to perform the tasks associated with each occupation.
As I’ve grown older, I have realized that there are things outside of my control that may affect my chances in some fields or cause me to self-select out of them. I have been frustrated and discouraged when this happens.
But I have never felt like Neil DeGrasse Tyson in 1989, when he realized that he’d never seen someone who looked like him who was an expert on something other than looking like him.
This absence is serious and complicated. But as long as some members of our community are told—explicitly or implicitly—that there are certain roles they cannot occupy, broad declarations of equal opportunity ring hollow.
Vitamin B3 might have been made in space, delivered to Earth by meteorites
Karen Smith crushes meteorites with a mortar and pestle in Goddard’s Astrobiology Analytical Laboratory to prepare them for analysis. Vitamin B3 was found in all eight meteorites analyzed in the study. Credit: Karen Smith
Ancient Earth might have had an extraterrestrial supply of vitamin B3 delivered by carbon-rich meteorites, according to a new analysis by NASA-funded researchers. The result supports a theory that the origin of life may have been assisted by a supply of key molecules created in space and brought to Earth by comet and meteor impacts.
"It is always difficult to put a value on the connection between meteorites and the origin of life; for example, earlier work has shown that vitamin B3 could have been produced non-biologically on ancient Earth, but it’s possible that an added source of vitamin B3 could have been helpful," said Karen Smith of Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pa. "Vitamin B3, also called nicotinic acid or niacin, is a precursor to NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide), which is essential to metabolism and likely very ancient in origin." Smith is lead author of a paper on this research, along with co-authors from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., now available online in the journal Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta.
This is not the first time vitamin B3 has been found in meteorites. In 2001 a team led by Sandra Pizzarello of Arizona State University, in Tempe discovered it along with related molecules called pyridine carboxylic acids in the Tagish Lake meteorite.
In the new work at Goddard’s Astrobiology Analytical Laboratory, Smith and her team analyzed samples from eight different carbon-rich meteorites, called “CM-2 type carbonaceous chondrites” and found vitamin B3 at levels ranging from about 30 to 600 parts-per-billion. They also found other pyridine carboxylic acids at similar concentrations and, for the first time, found pyridine dicarboxylic acids.
Residue from a laboratory experiment simulating the conditions of interstellar space. The residue contained vitamin B3 (and related compounds) and may help explain meteorite chemistry. Credit: Karen Smith
"We discovered a pattern – less vitamin B3 (and other pyridine carboxylic acids) was found in meteorites that came from asteroids that were more altered by liquid water. One possibility may be that these molecules were destroyed during the prolonged contact with liquid water,” said Smith. “We also performed preliminary laboratory experiments simulating conditions in interstellar space and showed that the synthesis of vitamin B3 and other pyridine carboxylic acids might be possible on ice grains.”
Scientists think the solar system formed when a dense cloud of gas, dust, and ice grains collapsed under its own gravity. Clumps of dust and ice aggregated into comets and asteroids, some of which collided together to form moon-sized objects or planetesimals, and some of those eventually merged to become planets.
Space is filled with radiation from nearby stars as well as from violent events in deep space like exploding stars and black holes devouring matter. This radiation could have powered chemical reactions in the cloud (nebula) that formed the solar system, and some of those reactions may have produced biologically important molecules like vitamin B3.
Asteroids and comets are considered more or less pristine remnants from our solar system’s formation, and many meteorites are prized samples from asteroids that happen to be conveniently delivered to Earth. However, some asteroids are less pristine than others. Asteroids can be altered shortly after they form by chemical reactions in liquid water. As they grow, asteroids incorporate radioactive material present in the solar system nebula. If enough radioactive material accumulates in an asteroid, the heat produced as it decays will be sufficient to melt ice inside the asteroid. Researchers can determine how much an asteroid was altered by water by examining chemical and mineralogical signatures of water alteration in meteorites from those asteroids.
When asteroids collide with meteoroids or other asteroids, pieces break off and some of them eventually make their way to Earth as meteorites. Although meteorites are valued samples from asteroids, they are rarely recovered immediately after they fall to Earth. This leaves them vulnerable to contamination from terrestrial chemistry and life.
The team doubts the vitamin B3 and other molecules found in their meteorites came from terrestrial life for two reasons. First, the vitamin B3 was found along with its structural isomers – related molecules that have the same chemical formula but whose atoms are attached in a different order. These other molecules aren’t used by life. Non-biological chemistry tends to produce a wide variety of molecules—basically everything permitted by the materials and conditions present—but life makes only the molecules it needs. If contamination from terrestrial life was the source of the vitamin B3 in the meteorites, then only the vitamin should have been found, not the other, related molecules.
Second, the amount of vitamin B3 found was related to how much the parent asteroids had been altered by water. This correlation with conditions on the asteroids would be unlikely if the vitamin came from contamination on Earth.
The team plans to conduct additional interstellar chemistry experiments under more realistic conditions to better understand how vitamin B3 can form on ice grains in space. “We used pyridine-carbon dioxide ice in the initial experiment,” said Smith. “We want to add water ice (the dominant component of interstellar ices) and start from simpler organic precursors (building-block molecules) of vitamin B3 to help verify our result.”
The Reason We Can’t Find MH 370 Is Because We’re Basically Blind
The pressure down there is what makes it so difficult to go see for ourselves. Even the vessel that is being used to find flight MH-370 has a maximum depth of just under 15,000 feet. At that depth, the pressure is mind-blowing. It’s about 6,502 pounds per square inch(psi). For perspective, 10 feet under water is 4.34 pounds per square inch. This of course is not even close to the deepest point in the world, which is Challenger Deep of the Mariana Trench. It has a depth of about 36,000 feet(15,526psi)!!
We can see countless millions of miles into the blackness of space, but a three-mile depth in the ocean is testing the very limits of our technology. Never mind finding a missing jet, we’re incapable of establishing even the most basic facts about the ocean floor
Men have played golf on the moon. Images transmitted from the surface of Mars have become utterly commonplace. The Hubble Space Telescope can see 10 billion to 15 billion light-years into the universe.
But a mere three miles under the sea? That’s a true twilight zone.
As the hunt for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 demonstrates, at that depth — minuscule compared with the vastness of space — everything is a virtual unknown. A high-tech unmanned underwater submarine, Bluefin-21, has been dispatched four times to look for wreckage from the jet, but the crushing water pressure and impenetrability of this void mean that only its most recent pair of missions were completed. Scrutinizing dust and rock particles on the Red Planet, tens of millions of miles away, is breeze. Understanding what’s on the seafloor of our own planet is not.
About 95% of deep ocean floor remains unmapped, but that’s almost certainly where the most sought after aircraft in history is going to be found. “Our knowledge of the detailed ocean floor is very, very sparse,” Erik van Sebille, an oceanographer at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, tells TIME.
The reason for our ignorance is simple. Virtually all modern communications technology — be it light, radio, X-rays, wi-fi — is a form of electro-magnetic radiation, which seawater just loves to suck up. “The only thing that does travel [underwater] is sound,” says van Sebille, “and that’s why we have to use sonar.”
Sound is formed by mechanical waves and so can penetrate denser mediums such as liquids: but at a three-mile depth, even sonar starts to have problems establishing basic parameters. The waters in which the search for MH 370 is happening, for example, were thought to be between 4,200 and 4,400 m deep, because that’s what it said on the charts that had been drawn up over time by passing ships with sonar capabilities. It turns out those seas are at least 4,500 m deep. We only know that now, because that’s the depth at which Bluefin-21 will automatically resurface — as it did on its maiden foray — when onboard sensors tell it that it’s way, way out of its operating depth. The problems with Bluefin-21, van Sebille says, show us that “even our best maps are really not good here.”
The other issue affecting visibility is the sheer volume of junk in the ocean. Around 5.25 trillion particles of plastic trash presently billow around the planet, say experts, weighing half a million tons. There are five huge garbage patches in the world’s seas, where the swirling of currents makes the mostly plastic debris accumulate. The largest of these is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a gyre measuring an estimated 700,000 to 15 million sq km. This refuse gets ingested by plankton, fish, birds and larger marine mammals, imperiling our entire ecosystem.
Flotsam debris has already impeded the hunt for MH 370. Hundreds of suspicious items spotted by satellite have sent aircraft and ships on hugely costly detours to investigate what turned out to be trash. (On Friday, an air and surface search continued, with 12 aircraft and 11 ships scouring an area of some 51,870 sq km about 2,000 km northwest of Perth.) Officials are saying that such efforts are becoming futile.
For all we know, Bluefin-21 could also be confused by the sheer volume of garbage down there. According to a study by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute published last June, based upon 8,000 hours of underwater video, an unbelievable quantity of waste is strewn across the ocean floor. A third of the debris is thought to be plastic — bags, bottles, pellets, crates — but there is also a vast amount of metal trash as well, including many of the 10,000 shipping containers estimated to be lost each year. “I was surprised that we saw so much trash in deeper water,” said Kyra Schlining, lead author on the study. “We don’t usually think of our daily activities as affecting life two miles deep in the ocean.”
Epic Discovery! NASA Announces First Earth-Size Planet Found That Could Support Life
“This is really a tip-of-the-iceberg discovery,” said study co-author Jason Rowe, an astronomer at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., who spent a year analyzing data gathered by NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope that led to finding the planet known as Kepler-186f. “We can infer that other ones are likely to exist. And that’s going to be the job of future missions to find [them].”
Scientists have discovered the alien planet, Kepler-186f, slightly bigger than Earth, in the habitable zone of its host star, a dim red dwarf star about 490 light-years from Earth, that might have liquid water and the right conditions for life. NASA scientists think that Kepler-186f — the outermost of five planets found to be orbiting the star Kepler-186 — orbits at a distance of 32.5 million miles (52.4 million kilometers), theoretically within the habitable zone for a red dwarf.
The discovery marks a milestone in the quest to find planets that are not just Earth-sized, but truly Earth-like, said Doug Hudgins, NASA’s program scientist for the Kepler mission in Washington.
“Whether we are an extremely rare fluke — a phenomenon that only happens once in a universe — or in a galaxy teeming with life is a very basic question not only of science, but of our existence,” said Dimitar Sasselov, a planetary astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who was not involved in the paper. It’s “the first time in human history we have a good shot at answering that question, and that’s very exciting.”
Researchers think the alien world may be rocky like Earth, but aren’t sure what Kepler-186f’s atmosphere is made of, a key that could help scientists understand if the planet is hospitable to life.
"This is the first definitive Earth-sized planet found in the habitable zone around another star," Elisa Quintana, of the SETI Institute and NASA’s Ames Research Center and the lead author of a new study detailing the findings, said in a statement.
"What we’ve learned, just over the past few years, is that there is a definite transition which occurs around about 1.5 Earth radii," Quintana said in a statement. "What happens there is that for radii between 1.5 and 2 Earth radii, the planet becomes massive enough that it starts to accumulate a very thick hydrogen and helium atmosphere, so it starts to resemble the gas giants of our solar system rather than anything else that we see as terrestrial."
Kepler-186f actually lies at the edge of the Kepler-186 star’s habitable zone, meaning that liquid water on the planet’s surface could freeze, according to study co-author Stephen Kane of San Francisco State University. Because of its position in the outer part of the habitable zone, the planet’s larger size could actually help keep its water liquid, Kane said in a statement. Since it is slightly bigger than Earth, Kepler-186f could have a thicker atmosphere, which would insulate the planet and potentially keep its water in liquid form, Kane added.
"It [Kepler-186f] goes around its star over 130 days, but because its star is a lower mass than our sun, the planet orbits slightly inner of where Mercury orbits in our own solar system," Barclay said. "It’s on the cooler edge of the habitable zone. It’s still well within it, but it receives less energy than Earth receives. So, if you’re on this planet [Kepler-186f], the star would appear dimmer."
Kepler-186f could be too dim for follow-up studies that would probe the planet’s atmosphere. NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope — Hubble’s successor, expected to launch to space in 2018 — is designed to image planets around relatively nearby stars; however, the Kepler-186 system might be too far off for the powerful telescope to investigate.
Today’s discovery should add fresh impetus to the search for extraterrestrial life. Astronomers interpreting the Kepler data are able to detect the presence of small, rocky planets, much like our own, around distant stars for the first time — planets that are considered the most likely habitats for extraterrestrial life.
One of the most intriguing results of the Kepler Mission is the discovery of the small size of the planetary candidates. For years the list of known extrasolar planets had been dominated by massive “Hot Jupiters,” comparable to the biggest planet in our solar system.
Such massive worlds are the easiest to find, whereas Earth-sized planets are much more elusive. But Kepler was designed to be sensitive to those smaller worlds, even the temperate, rocky worlds that might be more life friendly. The spacecraft is showing that smaller planets are common — more common, in fact, than their larger brethren. At least that is how things look in the inner regions of planetary systems, where Kepler’s data is currently the strongest.
"There are some Jupiters, there are some Saturns," University of California, Berkeley, astronomer Geoff Marcy said at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS). "But there are far more of the smaller and smaller planets going down to about two Earth diameters."
Marcy and his colleagues have used Kepler’s data set to extrapolate how often planets of different sizes appear around stars, taking into account the biases that make Kepler spot some planets while missing others. (For every planet that orbits its star in just such a way that it crosses Kepler’s line of sight, there might be five to 20 other planets that are not so favorably aligned.) The team found that planets of just a few times Earth’s diameter are quite common around stars of the sun’s spectral type. “If you take a sample of G-type main sequence stars, 8 percent of them will have two- to 2.8-Earth-radii planets with orbital periods of less than 50 days,” Marcy said.
A spectacular new fossil find is overturning ideas about the evolution of sharks.
Watch any Jaws movie and you’ll understand why scientists have presumed that these eating machines have remained unchanged from their ancestral condition. But turns out, sharks are not “living fossils” that have retained their primitive anatomy and prehistoric “sharkiness” over millions of years. As simple and perfect as they seem, modern sharks have evolved many new adaptations over time.
Older theories about gill-structure evolution — which provided the basis for understanding jaw evolution — relied on modern cartilaginous fish (like sharks and rays) and bony fish (which includes today’s tunas and oarfishes).
Now, a well-preserved, 325-million-year-old shark-like fossil from Paleozoic Arkansas shows how the skeletal structure that supports the gills of a very early shark resembles bony fishes much more than it does modern sharks. The fossil of the new species Ozarcus mapesae is the earliest identified cartilaginous fish where the entire gill skeleton is preserved intact in its natural position (in three dimensions, not flattened the way we usually find sharks fossils).
Photo credit: A 3D reconstruction of the skull of Ozarcus mapesae. The braincase in light grey, the jaw is in red, hyoid arch is blue, and gill arches are shown in yellow / AMNH/A. Pradel
“Sharks are traditionally thought to be one of the most primitive surviving jawed vertebrates. And most textbooks in schools today say that the internal jaw structures of modern sharks should look very similar to those in primitive shark-like fishes,” Pradel says in a news release. “But we’ve found that’s not the case. The modern shark condition is very specialized, very derived, and not primitive.”
This is the fossil pictured from two different views (scale bar is 10 millimeters.) “There’s enough depth in this fossil to allow us to scan it and digitally dissect out the cartilage skeleton,” Maisey says.
Fish have these structures called visceral branchial arches, which are serially arranged, jointed endoskeletal supports that are internal to the gills. The scans revealed how the gill arches (yellow, above) of the fossil are arranged like bony fishes. The most recent common ancestor of jawed vertebrates must have possessed some elements that were more bony fish-like than shark-like.
Additionally, the arches were separated by small bits of cartilage that are found in some species of bony fish and their relatives but previously unknown in any living or extinct cartilaginous fish.
The basal shark’s blend of traits indicates that modern sharks have acquired features through evolutionary innovation. And if we want to learn more about our first jawed ancestors (yes, humans have jaws too), we might have to turn bony fishes rather than modern sharks.
Kepler Team Announces Discovery of Earth-Sized Planet in Habitable Zone
Since its launch in the spring of 2009, NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has been hunting exoplanets. The holy grail being a planet that is essentially like ours in terms of size, composition, and habitability: an Earth-twin. While we still haven’t found a planet that exactly fits that bill, Kepler has now confirmed the discovery of an Earth-sized exoplanet in its star’s habitable zone. The announcement was made at a press conference and the findings have been published in Science.
Kepler-186f is about 40% larger than Earth and orbits an M dwarf star around 500 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus. The star is about half of the size and mass of our sun, and it takes Kepler-186f about 130 Earth days to complete a revolution. On the outer edge of the star’s habitable zone, the planet receives about a third of the radiation from its parent star as we do from ours.
Life as we know it requires the presence of liquid water, so a planet with the potential for life would be not too close to the star (which would be too hot and the water would be vapor) yet not too far away (where it would be too cold and the water would be ice). Habitability requires a “Goldilocks Zone” where conditions are just right.
"We know of just one planet where life exists — Earth. When we search for life outside our solar system we focus on finding planets with characteristics that mimic that of Earth," said Elisa Quintana, lead author of the paper. "Finding a habitable zone planet comparable to Earth in size is a major step forward."
Co-author Thomas Barclay added: “Being in the habitable zone does not mean we know this planet is habitable. The temperature on the planet is strongly dependent on what kind of atmosphere the planet has. Kepler-186f can be thought of as an Earth-cousin rather than an Earth-twin. It has many properties that resemble Earth.”
Determining the composition of planets out in the habitable zone isn’t as easy as those who are incredibly close to the star, because there isn’t as much radiation from the parent star available to determine what is or isn’t getting absorbed. While previous findings have indicated that Kepler-186f is a rocky planet, further analysis must be done before any definitive conclusions can be made.
Real-Life Joffrey Smiles About 'Game of Thrones' Purple Wedding *CONTAINS SPOILERS*
Warning: Game of Thrones spoilers ahead.
Looks like even Jack Gleeson — the actor who played Joffrey Baratheon on Game of Thrones — is happy his character died.
The terrible boy-king kicked the bucket on Sunday’s episode, poisoned by pie and/or wine, but fans (and most of the other characters) weren’t the least bit concerned. After all, we hated Joffrey as much as Joffrey loved Joffrey.
But an Instagram picture posted by Gleeson’s friend on Tuesday proves that the actor was a-okay with his unexpected passing.
It also proves that he’s good at photobombing, thumbs-up signs and bleeding from the eyes.
Gleeson, now 21, plans to retire from acting now that his reign on the Iron Throne has finished, he tells Entertainment Weekly.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: Search sub tries again after striking out first day
PERTH, Australia - A robotic submarine looking for the lost Malaysian jet began its second mission Tuesday after cutting short its first trip, officials said.
The submarine hunting for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 aborted its first mission after only six hours, surfacing with no new clues when it exceeded its maximum depth along the floor of the Indian Ocean, officials said Tuesday.
The Bluefin 21 was sent down to create a 3-D map of the ocean floor near where investigators believe that missing jetliner may have ended up, reports CBS News correspondent Seth Doane.
The submersible was supposed to be down there mapping the sea bed for 16 hours, but it only lasted 6 hours before it exceeded its “maximum depth limit” of 15,000 feet. Then, a built-in safety feature was triggered and that automatically returned the submersible to the surface.
While You Were Slaving Away At Work, A Canvas Of A Blue Background And White Line Sold For $44 Million
I’m one of those that just doesn’t get “art”….
The painting, titled “Onement VI,” was illustrated by Barnett Newman, an abstract expressionist painter. Newman’s work was sold for a whopping $43.8 million, to be exact, at a Sotheby’s auction.
“Newman overwhelms and seduces the viewer with the totality of its sensual, cascading washes of vibrant blue coexisting with Newman’s vertical ‘Sign’ of the human presence, his iconic and revolutionary ‘zip,’” said Sotheby’s auction house.
The painting measures at 8.5′ x 10′ and was illustrated back in 1953.
Today the first resume was sent up north! I spent about 45 minutes perfecting a little introduction about who I was and my current situation, etc. It was personal, enthusiastic, but to the point. I’m also a really good writer when I want to be and take pride in making my words flow. I’m rather happy with how it read. Resume was updated already so the hard part is over! Just gotta keep sending these out and maybe someone will give me a chance :)
You’d think that after allllll this searching that some debris would be located by now, IF the plane had crashed. My thoughts on this have not changed since the day I learned the plane made a hard left turn. It’s been suspicious since then and all these “reports” of pings and supposed debris leading to absolutely nothing have only strengthened by opinion that we are not getting all the details.I don’t want people to just forget that this plane with 239 lives on board is still missing under very suspicious circumstances. Until there is actual evidence showing that the plane did crash, then I’m going to continue to think that the public and the families have been lied to since the beginning. I’m still incredibly bothered by this…
Families of some of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 passengers released a list of questions Wednesday that they said authorities have so far not answered.
Many of the 26 questions focus on technical issues involving emergency locator transmitters, or ELTs, and “black boxes.” With an apparent in-depth understanding of how these work, the families ask about the specific technology on the missing plane.
ELTs are designed to activate after a crash and send a signal to a frequency monitored by air traffic controllers. “Black boxes,” or voice and data recorders, could shed light on what went on in the plane’s cockpit and other crucial flight information.
The families’ final seven questions involve “protocol,” including this: What did Malaysia Airlines do when the flight went missing?
The families also ask whether search and rescue teams have final results from searched areas, and whether the Malaysian government could specify the rights of family members “to know the facts of cases or the details of an incident.”
The questions were posted on the social media site Weibo by a committee in Beijing representing some of the passengers’ families. Some of the “questions” are requests that evidence be shared with them, including the flight’s logbook and air traffic control audio.
Malaysia Airlines, for its part, has said it shares all the information it has with appropriate authorities.
In a video message this month, Hugh Dunleavy, the airline’s commercial director, said the company shares the same “fundamental requirement” as the families: to find out what happened.
Malaysian authorities have come under criticism repeatedly for their handling of the investigation. But the government has insisted it’s doing what it can to get to the bottom of what happened and support the families.
"We understand that it has been a difficult time for all the families. And we appreciate that many families want to see physical evidence before they will accept that MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean," acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said at the end of March. "… The question that the families principally want answered, is the question we simply do not have the answer to — namely, where their loved ones are, and where is MH370."
A week earlier, Hishammuddin made a pledge to the families: “We will do everything in our power to keep you informed.”
Bluefin-21 resumes search
An underwater vessel searching for traces of the jet resurfaced Wednesday after 11 hours in the water. The vessel need to have a technical issue repaired.
Part of the equipment designed to help the Bluefin-21 move deeper and avoid seepage was low on oil. Officials replenished the supply and redeployed the vessel.
The Bluefin-21 has its electronics sealed in bottles so they are protected from salt water. As the probe moves deeper and the pressure increases the operating system pushes oil into these bottles. The oil counters the pressure and prevents salt water from seeping in. If oil fills the container, there’s no space for salt water.
"In no way should this suggest that (the AUV) is not ‘hardy’ enough to be working at this depth. On the contrary, it is absolutely the best piece of equipment for the job we are doing," a source close to the operation said, adding that technical issues are common at great depths.
While on deck, its data were downloaded, the Australian Joint Agency Coordination Centre said.
"Bluefin-21 … is currently continuing its underwater search," the center said in a statement. "Initial analysis of the data downloaded this morning indicates no significant detections."
This is the second setback for the underwater vehicle that’s scanning the ocean floor for debris linked to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
In its first dive Monday, crews dipped it into the Indian Ocean on what was expected to be a 20-hour deployment. It returned less than eight hours later after it exceeded its maximum dive depth.
We lived in a sandy-colored stone house with an engraved winged serpent and solar disc above the door. It seemed like something straight out of ancient Sumeria, or Indiana Jones — but it was not, in either case, something you’d expect to find in upstate New York. It overlooked a deep gorge, and beyond that the city of Ithaca. At the turn of the last century it had been the headquarters for a secret society at Cornell called the Sphinx Head Tomb, but in the second half of the century some bedrooms and a kitchen were added and, by the 1980s, it had been converted into a private home where I lived with my wonderful mother and father.
My father, the astronomer Carl Sagan, taught space sciences and critical thinking at Cornell. By that time, he had become well known and frequently appeared on television, where he inspired millions with his contagious curiosity about the universe. But inside the Sphinx Head Tomb, he and my mother, Ann Druyan, wrote books, essays, and screenplays together, working to popularize a philosophy of the scientific method in place of the superstition, mysticism, and blind faith that they felt was threatening to dominate the culture. They were deeply in love — and now, as an adult, I can see that their professional collaborations were another expression of their union, another kind of lovemaking. One such project was the 13-part PBS series Cosmos, which my parents co-wrote and my dad hosted in 1980 — a new incarnation of which my mother has just reintroduced on Sunday nights on Fox.
After days at elementary school, I came home to immersive tutorials on skeptical thought and secular history lessons of the universe, one dinner table conversation at a time. My parents would patiently entertain an endless series of “why?” questions, never meeting a single one with a “because I said so” or “that’s just how it is.” Each query was met with a thoughtful, and honest, response — even the ones for which there are no answers.
One day when I was still very young, I asked my father about his parents. I knew my maternal grandparents intimately, but I wanted to know why I had never met his parents.
“Because they died,” he said wistfully.
“Will you ever see them again?” I asked.
He considered his answer carefully. Finally, he said that there was nothing he would like more in the world than to see his mother and father again, but that he had no reason — and no evidence — to support the idea of an afterlife, so he couldn’t give in to the temptation.
Then he told me, very tenderly, that it can be dangerous to believe things just because you want them to be true. You can get tricked if you don’t question yourself and others, especially people in a position of authority. He told me that anything that’s truly real can stand up to scrutiny.
As far as I can remember, this is the first time I began to understand the permanence of death. As I veered into a kind of mini existential crisis, my parents comforted me without deviating from their scientific worldview.
“You are alive right this second. That is an amazing thing,” they told me. When you consider the nearly infinite number of forks in the road that lead to any single person being born, they said, you must be grateful that you’re you at this very second. Think of the enormous number of potential alternate universes where, for example, your great-great-grandparents never meet and you never come to be. Moreover, you have the pleasure of living on a planet where you have evolved to breathe the air, drink the water, and love the warmth of the closest star. You’re connected to the generations through DNA — and, even farther back, to the universe, because every cell in your body was cooked in the hearts of stars. We are star stuff, my dad famously said, and he made me feel that way.
Sasha and her father in his office, 1988.
My parents taught me that even though it’s not forever — becauseit’s not forever — being alive is a profoundly beautiful thing for which each of us should feel deeply grateful. If we lived forever it would not be so amazing.
When I was 7, we moved to another, larger house five minutes away in preparation for my brother, Sam. The Sphinx Head Tomb was left empty for a little while before my parents began the process of renovating it. They wanted a space to write and read and collaborate in peace. The remodeling was a long process, as it always is, but when the beautiful new incarnation was done, it didn’t get much use. Soon after, my father started looking pale and feeling a little weak. A checkup led to a blood test, which came with the news that he had a rare blood disease.
We moved to Seattle, so he could be treated by the best doctors. Remission, relapse, bone marrow transplant; relapse, bone marrow transplant number two, remission; relapse, bone marrow transplant number three. And then just at the winter solstice of 1996, he was gone. I was 14 years old.
The Sphinx Head Tomb was left unused, slowly filling up with my father’s papers, handwritten notes, photographs, to-do lists, birthday cards, childhood drawings, and report cards. Thousands of individual items, boxed away in 18-foot-high filing cabinets. My mother searched for a home for these keepsakes and manuscripts — the evidence of a great life lived by a great man — but no university or institution was willing to give them the preservative care and prominence she felt they deserved.
As the months turned into years, she devoted herself to carrying on my father’s legacy, somehow continuing their union and collaboration after his death. When my mother had the idea to do a new, updated version of Cosmos, she embarked on four years of pitches and meetings and maybes. Then she met Seth McFarlane, creator of Family Guy, who was a great fan of my dad’s work. And soon, in no small part thanks to Seth, a new Cosmos was underway. With my mother at the helm and the charming Neil deGrasse Tyson as host, tens of millions more people are now being exposed to the grandeur of science and my dad’s form of joyful skepticism.
But there is something else Seth did for my father’s legacy that has been significantly less tweeted about: He made it possible for all the contents of the Sphinx Head Tomb — all the essays on nuclear winter, the papers on the climate of Venus, the scraps of ideas, a boyhood drawing of a flyer for an imagined interstellar mission — to be preserved in the Library of Congress.
It’s an enormous honor that makes me feel that my father has, in death, achieved a kind of immortality — albeit a tiny, human, earthly immortality. But that’s the only kind a person can hope to achieve. Someday our civilization will crumble. The Library of Congress will be ruins, someone else’s Library of Alexandria. In the biggest sense, our species will eventually die out, or transform into something else, that will not revere what we revere. And then, a few billion years later, when the sun meets its own end, all life on Earth will die with it.
Growing up, I had learned all the reasons why real immortality is impossible from my father, yet I could not help but imagine 23rd or 24th century schoolchildren looking at my dad’s penmanship under glass and feel his life was really extended in some tangible way.
On the brisk, gray day this past November, during the week that would have been his 79th birthday, my family, our friends, and many of my father’s colleagues and former students gathered in Washington D.C. to celebrate the new Seth Macfarlane Collection of the Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan Archive. But when I entered the massive cathedral to the history of the country, I was overcome not with a sense of immortality but its antithesis. In front of the famous original copies of the Gutenberg Bible and the Gettysburg Address it hit me: This was not a monument to eternal life but a mausoleum.
In the way couples sometimes renew their vows, we renewed our grief. And in that moment my father was both so alive in the minds of those who loved him and so painfully gone. The conundrum of mortality and immortality was crystallized for me in the Library of Congress that day, but it’s the same paradox of our small place in the enormous universe that my parents first taught me in the Sphinx Head Tomb.
Wu-Tang Affiliated Rapper Andre Johnson severs penis, jumps off building, but survives
Los Angeles (CNN) — Rapper Andre Johnson severed his penis and jumped from a Los Angeles apartment building early Wednesday, police said.
Johnson was seriously injured, but survived the fall from the second level of the building in North Hollywood, Los Angeles Police Sgt. William Mann said.
Johnson, along with his recovered penis, was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he was being treated, Mann said.
Details about what triggered the incident were not available.
Johnson has been a member of Northstar, a Long Beach, California, hip hop group that was part of the Wu-Tang Clan family, according to the Wu-Tang Clan website. He performs under the name Christ Bearer.
His recording credits include “When the Guns Come Out,” which was included on the soundtrack of the 2004 film “Blade: Trinity,” according to the Internet Movie Database.