Got Salicornia?

Mother Jones tells us about The Saline Solution:

In the mid-’80s, an atmospheric physicist named Carl N. Hodges predicted that the key to saving the planet was to make the desert bloom—with a spindly saltwater plant known as salicornia, a.k.a. sea asparagus. The idea languished for years, but now scientists, investors, and even celebrities are lining up behind the 71-year-old’s vision for feeding the planet, fueling our cars, and reversing rising sea levels.

Salicornia, eh?

Well, I’m not an asparagus aficionado, although my wife makes a good asparagus and boiled egg concoction.

But sea asparagus cookies? No, I don’t think so.

Read it all

Space Stuff

Never mind Y2K. Or even global warming.

NASA: 2012 ‘space Katrina’ may cripple U.S. for months

A recently released NASA report warns that the U.S. has forgotten the power of the sun, creating a technological society susceptible like never before to massive infrastructure damage from solar storms.

The study, carried out for NASA by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, doesn’t predict some new solar or environmental disaster. Instead, it studies the effects of the sun’s normal, cyclical behavior upon modern technology.

Professor Daniel Baker is director of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado and chaired the panel that prepared the report.

“Whether it is terrestrial catastrophes or extreme space weather incidents,” writes Baker in a statement released with the report, “the results can be devastating to modern societies that depend in a myriad of ways on advanced technological systems.”

According the report, the U.S. has grown so dependent on modern technologies without respect of what the sun can and has done, that it’s risking major communications, finance, transportation, government and even emergency services meltdowns.

Maybe they’re picking up the approach of Solarcane Katrina:

Mystery Roar Detected From Faraway Space

Space is typically thought of as a very quiet place. But one team of astronomers has found a strange cosmic noise that booms six times louder than expected.

The roar is from the distant cosmos. Nobody knows what causes it.

Of course, sound waves can’t travel in a vacuum (which is what most of space is), or at least they can’t very efficiently. But radio waves can.

[…]

There is “something new and interesting going on in the universe,” said Alan Kogut of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

[…]

“The universe really threw us a curve,” Kogut said. “Instead of the faint signal we hoped to find, here was this booming noise six times louder than anyone had predicted.”

Detailed analysis of the signal ruled out primordial stars or any known radio sources, including gas in the outermost halo of our own galaxy.

[…]

For now, the origin of the signal remains a mystery.

We report. You decide. Or deride. Or HangOnForAWildRide.

Of Aliens and Stuff

OK, first off, in the Strange Little People Department we have this:

Former NASA astronaut and moon-walker Dr Edgar Mitchell – a veteran of the Apollo 14 mission…says extra-terrestrials have visited Earth on several occasions – but the alien contact has been repeatedly covered up by governments for six decades.

Dr Mitchell, 77, said during a radio interview that sources at the space agency who had had contact with aliens described the beings as ‘little people who look strange to us.’

[…]

“I’ve been in military and intelligence circles, who know that beneath the surface of what has been public knowledge, yes – we have been visited. Reading the papers recently, it’s been happening quite a bit.”

Dr Mitchell, who has a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering and a Doctor of Science degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics claimed Roswell was real and similar alien visits continue to be investigated.

For the record, I tend to believe non-human alien beings have visited planet Earth. And continue among us. 😯 Just not the sort of ET aliens that Mr. Mitchell describes.

Did these aliens get turned around by about 90 degrees to the West and jump in the wrong body of water?

Federal officials said they netted 43 illegal aliens in an immigration raid on O`ahu.

[…]

The 43 men were all citizens of Mexico.

Were? Did they die or otherwise give up their Mexican citizenship? Oh, I know: As a reward for their record-breaking swim, they were awarded honorary US citizenship. 🙄

Once upon a time, in the United States of America, this wouldn’t have been alien at all:

Elective Bible courses in Texas high schools received the blessing of the State Board of Education on Friday, but local school officials will have to figure out how to design those classes so they don’t violate religious-freedom protections.

[…]

Attorney General Greg Abbott has told the board that although the state standards for the Bible class appear to be in compliance with the First Amendment, his office can’t guarantee that the courses taught in high schools will be constitutional because they haven’t been reviewed.

Critics contend that the standards – based on old guidelines for independent studies in English and social studies – are so vague and general that many schools might unknowingly create unconstitutional Bible classes that either promote the religious views of teachers or disparage the religious beliefs of some students.

Earlier this year, the Ector County school board agreed to quit using a Bible course curriculum at two high schools in Odessa that the American Civil Liberties Union said promoted Protestant religious beliefs not shared by Jews, Catholics, Orthodox Christians and many Protestants.

[…]

The course is supposed to be geared to academic, nondevotional study of the Bible, and cover such things as the influence of the New Testament on law, literature, history and culture.

That’s a good step. I think. I hope.

Updates on Previous Posts

Flushing the Mission

Toilet troubles on the International Space Station (ISS) could force Russian cosmonauts to return to Earth early, a Russian official told Interfax news agency Tuesday.

“It’s true, we have a problem with the flushing system. This is a serious matter,” warned Vladimir Solovyov, chief ground control official for the Russian section of the ISS. “In such circumstances there’s even the possibility of an emergency departure from the station.”

The main ISS toilet broke down last week, forcing the crew, two Russians and one American, to use back-up facilities.

The US shuttle Discovery delivered spare parts Monday, as well as an extra seven astronauts. Repairs are scheduled on Thursday and Friday, Solovyov said, Interfax reported.

Just so the facilities don’t back up. 🙄

And I would expect faster service from the plumbers if the parts arrived on Monday! 😯

Especially if the number of tenants went from three to ten.

But maybe the plumbers are out and about on other service calls.

I suppose, though, that the same folks who delivered the parts also brought along a PortaPotty their own facilities to share with the ISS crew.

Polygamist sect clarifies marriage policy

“The church is clarifying its policy on marriage,” said Willie Jessop, a spokesman for the Fundamental Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He told reporters the church would advise FLDS families “neither request nor consent” to the marriage of underage girls, though he stopped short of saying the church ever violated the law.

“In the FLDS church, all marriages are consensual. The church insists on appropriate consent,” he said.

The change in policy comes after a Texas judge issued an order Monday allowing parents of hundreds of children seized from the sect to begin picking up their kids.

[…]

The logistics of retrieving the remaining children may not be so simple, though, since some parents have children at different facilities across the state.

Under the judge’s order, the Department of Family and Protective Services will still have the right to visit and interview the children.

These unannounced visits could entail medical, psychological and psychiatric examinations, and the parents must not intervene.

Also under the order, the parents must attend and complete parenting classes. The families must remain in the state of Texas and notify the department within 48 hours of any trips more than 100 miles from their homes.

FLDS Mother and child reunited

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Above all, love God!