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World Futures: Accuracy And Precision (Part One)

on September 18, 2017 - 5:51am

World Futures: What Do We Need?

By ANDY ANDREWS
Los Alamos World Futures Institute


This series of columns will have four parts. Part one will deal with definitions (needed for accuracy and precision) and an examination of Pi. Part two will look at our spherical universe and the fundamental units we have for measurements. Part three will consider how much is enough. And part four will look at how we measure ourselves as a community, both individually and collectively.

Accuracy and precision are tough terms to visualize or internalize.

Fr. Glenn: Acknowledging The Inconceivable

on September 17, 2017 - 6:59am
By Rev. Glenn Jones
Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church
Los Alamos

Many no doubt saw the recent press release in which the Catholic Archbishop of Santa Fe published the names of the members of Catholic clergy who have been accused of past sexual abuse of children. It’s no new news that those things happened, but if you’re like me, your reaction may have been: “Wow … so many.” At least know that they have all been permanently removed from ministry, if not now deceased.

IRS Urges Foreign Financial Institutions Participating In FATCA To Check Registrations

on September 16, 2017 - 8:41am
IRS News:
 
PHOENIX  IRS officials reminds foreign financial institutions to renew their Foreign Financial Institution (FFI) agreement if required.
 
These FFIs have until Oct. 24, 2017 to complete their renewal. Those that don’t renew their agreements could be removed from the November FFI list and be subject to a 30 percent tax on certain U.S. source payments.
 
“We’ve worked with foreign financial institutions to implement FATCA registration and information reporting,” said Large Business & International Commissioner Doug O’Donnell.

Farewell To Cassini Mission That Explored Saturn

on September 15, 2017 - 6:32am

This illustration shows NASA’s Cassini spacecraft about to make one of its dives between Saturn and its innermost rings as part of the mission’s grand finale. Cassini will make 22 orbits that swoop between the rings and the planet before ending its mission today, Sept. 15, 2017, with a final plunge into Saturn. Courtesy/NASA/JPL-Caltech

 LANL News:

  • Los Alamos National Laboratory played part in two major discoveries and powered the spacecraft during its 20-year flight

Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists led the development of two scientific sensors on NASA’s spacecraft Cassini that

Study: 2017’s Best Places For Oktoberfest Celebrations & Fun Facts

on September 13, 2017 - 7:07am
WALLETHUB News:
 
With Oktoberfest soon to kick off and the cost of attending the celebration in Munich, Germany, totaling an estimated $5,000 for Americans, the personal-finance website WalletHub took a close look at 2017's Best Places for Oktoberfest Celebrations, along with fun and interesting facts about the event in its Oktoberfest Facts – History, Beer, Food & More infographic.

To determine the best cities for partaking in the epic German festival, WalletHub’s number crunchers compared the 100 largest cities across 23 key metrics, ranging from share of German population to number of

Letter To The Editor: Death Toll Of 9/11

on September 12, 2017 - 12:48pm
By Dr. T. DOUGLAS REILLY
Los Alamos
 
On Monday the USA remembered the 16th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and the failed attempt to attack another DC building that resulted in the plane crash near Shanksville, Penn.
 
The combined death toll from these four events was 2995. Please consider the further death toll from these attacks:
 
The Afghanistan and Iraq Wars were, and still are being, fought as a response to the events of 9/11. The combined toll at present of military people from the USA, Iraq and Afghanistan, and coalition forces

Champion Of Internet Freedom Held In China

on September 12, 2017 - 12:45pm
RSF News:
 
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for the immediate release of Zhen Jianghua, the director of Across The Great FireWall (ATGFW.org), an anti-censorship website, and condemns the Chinese government’s continuing persecution of citizen-journalists and bloggers.
 
The police arrested Zhen Jianghua in Zhuhai, in the southern province of Guangdong, Sept. 1 without giving any explanation, and are holding him in an unknown location. They arrested his partner at the same time, but released her six hours later.

CIR: Enforcing The Broken Border Sept. 18

on September 12, 2017 - 6:53am
Former NM Attorney General Gary King
 
CIR News:
 
Join the Santa Fe Council on International Relations at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 18 at La Posada, 330 E. Palace Ave., in Santa Fe for an intimate conversation between two former Attorneys General, describing their work in enforcing the border against the Mexican drug cartels. 
 
Former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard
 
Terry Goddard (AZ) will talk about his work in, among other things, stopping the flow of laundered drug money into the U.S.; Gary King (NM) will discuss his work in training Mexican prosecutors to litigate the

U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce Leads Hearing On Lone-Wolf And Small-Scale Terrorist Attacks

on September 7, 2017 - 7:55am

U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce led a Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance hearing Thursday entitled “Low Cost, High Impact: Combatting the Financing of Lone-Wolf and Small-Scale Terrorist Attacks” to examine funding mechanisms used to coordinate low-scale attacks.

“Efforts to combat terrorist financing have traditionally focused on large scale funding sources; however, small-scale and lone-wolf style attacks have become more common and require significantly less funding,” Pearce said.

UNM-LA Astrophysics Discussion Sept. 19 - Nov. 21

on September 6, 2017 - 2:54pm
Explore Your Universe: Modern Astrophysics for Everyone is open to all ages. This non-credit class focuses on inquiry and discussion. Photo by Nancy Coombs/UNM-LA
 
UNM-LA News:
 
UNM-Los Alamos Community Education is once again offering a unique opportunity for all community members - from high school students to retirees - who have an interest in learning more about our universe.

Dr. Nicole Lloyd-Ronning will facilitate the non-credit astrophysics course, which begins Sept. 19 at UNM-LA. Courtesy photo

Beginning Sept. 19 and running through Nov.

LANL: Carlsten, Nguyen And Sheffield Win Free-Electron Laser Prize

on September 6, 2017 - 1:24pm

Los Alamos scientists Bruce Carlsten, Richard Sheffield and Dinh Nguyen receive the 2017 Free Electron Laser Prize at an international conference hosted in Santa Fe.

LANL News:

  • International panel notes pioneering contributions in the field

At an international science conference hosted recently in Santa Fe, Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists Bruce Carlsten, Dinh Nguyen and Richard Sheffield were awarded the 2017 Free-Electron Laser (FEL) Prize.

“The very brightest sources of x-rays are the latest generation of x-ray ‘light sources’ called free electron lasers,” Laboratory physicist

Rotary District 5520 Study Abroad Opportunity

on September 2, 2017 - 6:37am

Mission To The Asteroid Belt

on September 2, 2017 - 6:12am
Dawn Space Probe Exhibition at New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science. Courtesy photo
 
NMMNH&S News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE ― The New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science has opened a new, one-of-a-kind exhibition about NASA’s Dawn space probe and the amazing discoveries it has made during its 10-year journey through the solar system.
 
This temporary addition to the space science area will be available through mid-2018.
 
Dawn traveled to and explored Ceres and Vesta, the largest objects in the main asteroid belt, located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

Council Unanimously Passes Immigration Proclamation Celebrating Contributions And Just Treatment Of Immigrants And Refugees In Los Alamos County

on September 1, 2017 - 9:13am

 

Members of the Los Alamos County Council listen as some 20 residents take turns expressing passionate views on the proposed immigration proclamation 'Celebrating the Contributions and Just Treatment of Immigrants and Refugees in the County of Los Alamos', which Council ultimately passed 7-0 during Tuesday's meeting in Council Chambers. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Residents line up to express their view on the County's immigration proclamation Tuesday in Council Chambers. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

County Councilor Pete Sheehey explains why he brought the

World Futures: Cyber (Part Two)

on August 31, 2017 - 10:07am

World Futures: What Do We Need?

By ANDY ANDREWS
Los Alamos World Futures Institute

In the previous column we started by recalling the power outage in White Rock, noting that it was an inconvenience. But what if it had lasted longer, significantly longer? What if the affected area was much larger, perhaps the entire county of Los Alamos? What other inconveniences would you have suffered? The grocery store would have been closed. But it could have opened with candle light.

Of course, you would have to pay with cash or check since the credit/debit card machines would not run.

Letter To The Editor: ‘I’m In, Let’s Close The Door’ Is No Way To Maintain America’s Fundamental Character Of Openness And Generosity

on August 31, 2017 - 8:38am
By TERRY GOLDMAN
Los Alamos

In her recent column, Lisa Shin objects to ‘an undercurrent of obstructionism’ that she detects in the County’s immigration proclamation. This concern is puzzling since America is the paramount representation of a country that adores obstructionism — it comes with freedom of speech and association. Of course, you may not like racist obstructionism or women’s suffrage obstructionism (to consider extremes that have been objected to on both sides) but you are free to so obstruct. 

I have a multitude of objections to the opinions expressed, but let’s focus on

LANL: Superconductivity Research Reveals Potential New State Of Matter

on August 31, 2017 - 7:35am
Filip Ronning at work in his lab. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

A potential new state of matter is being reported in the journal Nature, with research showing that among superconducting materials in high magnetic fields, the phenomenon of electronic symmetry breaking is common. The ability to find similarities and differences among classes of materials with phenomena such as this helps researchers establish the essential ingredients that cause novel functionalities such as superconductivity.

The high-magnetic-field state of the heavy fermion superconductor CeRhIn5 revealed a so-called electronic

LANL: Machine-learning Earthquake Prediction In Lab Shows Promise

on August 30, 2017 - 1:18pm

LANL researchers have developed a two-dimensional tabletop simulator that models the buildup and release of stress along an artificial fault. In this image, the simulator is viewed through a polarized camera lens, photo-elastic plates reveal discrete points of stress buildup along both sides of the modeled fault as the far (upper) plate is moved laterally along the fault. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

  • Listening to faultline’s grumbling gives countdown to future quakes

By listening to the acoustic signal emitted by a laboratory-created earthquake, a computer science approach using machine learning

FSU Researcher Studying Ways To Treat Spinal Cord Injuries At Cellular Levels

on August 30, 2017 - 9:32am
FSU News:
 
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Supported by a new $800,000 National Science Foundation grant, Florida State University College of Medicine Professor Yi Ren is studying the immune response to spinal cord injuries and how cellular functions contribute to paralysis and organ dysfunction.
 
While instant paralysis is an obvious point of fear in spinal cord injuries, a great deal of the damage actually takes place after the initial trauma.
 
“Most of the research being done by scientists who focus on spinal cord injuries is about trying to prevent the secondary injury from happening,” said

Groups Call On Japan Not To Dump Radioactive Water Into Pacific Ocean

on August 30, 2017 - 9:24am
BN News:
 
TAKOMA PARK, Md. — Beyond Nuclear has signed onto a new letter from marine wildlife, environmental and conservation groups calling on authorities in Japan to avoid at all cost the dumping of hundreds and thousands of tons of radioactively contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean.
 
Currently, Japanese utility, TEPCO, is planning to release 777,000 tons of waste containing radioactive tritium into the Pacific Ocean from its stricken Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear site.

NNSA Removes All HEU From Ghana

on August 30, 2017 - 7:50am
NNSA News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA), in cooperation with Ghana, China, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), repatriated approximately one kilogram of Chinese-origin highly enriched uranium (HEU) from Ghana’s GHARR-1 Miniature Neutron Source Reactor (MNSR) at the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission’s National Nuclear Research Institute in Accra, Ghana Aug. 28.
 
This shipment removes the last known HEU from Ghana, making it the 32nd country plus Taiwan to become HEU-free.

International Day Of Victims of Enforced Disappearances: States That Make Journalists Disappear

on August 28, 2017 - 11:27am

REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS News:

On the eve of International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances Aug. 30, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reveals that a growing number of states are finding new ways to make troublesome journalists disappear.

Dawit Isaak, Jean Bigirimana, Akram Raslan and Guy-André Kiefferare all journalists who suddenly went missing, leaving their loved ones in a never-ending state of anxiety. All were the victims of “enforced disappearance,” a practice in which governments are directly or indirectly implicated.

It is governments, individuals, or groups acting

Privacy And The Internet

on August 28, 2017 - 8:32am

HSNW News:

In the Internet era, consumers seem increasingly resigned to giving up fundamental aspects of their privacy for convenience in using their phones and computers, and have grudgingly accepted that being monitored by corporations and even governments is just a fact of modern life.

In fact, Internet users in the United States have fewer privacy protections than those in other countries. In April, Congress voted to allow Internet service providers to collect and sell their customers’ browsing data.

Shin: County Council's Immigration Proclamation ... An Undercurrent Of Obstructionism

on August 28, 2017 - 8:01am

By LISA SHIN
Los Alamos

The Los Alamos County Council will consider an immigration proclamation this coming Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017. This is a toned-down version from the April resolution, to which Councilor Antonio Maggiore stated, “could have easily been deemed as geared toward Donald Trump”.

While this resolution does not change how we treat immigrants, its local advocates are aligned with Indivisible, a grassroots movement formed to resist the Trump agenda. Nationwide, these activists protect sanctuary cities, and speak out for the rights of “undocumented” immigrants.

This proclamation

Spencer: War And Other Historical Memorials Aren’t Created Equal

on August 27, 2017 - 10:23am

Memorial in Frank Ortiz Park. The camp was at what is now the Casa Solana residential area. Courtesy/N. Mesa Mutts 

By KHALIL SPENCER
Los Alamos

Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.

Shovel them under and let me work—
I am the grass; I cover all.

And pile them high at Gettysburg
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
Shovel them under and let me work.

Two years, ten years, and the passengers ask the conductor:
What place is this?
Where are we now?

I am the grass.
Let me work.

Grass, by Carl Sandburg

There is quite a bit of uproar over the de-emphasis of United States Civil War

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