- What So Many of Us Dream Of! Jon & Tracey Stewart Buy Farm To Be Sanctuary for Homeless Animals!
- Take another breathtaking spaceship journey to the Carina Nebula
- 15 Incredible Space Facts That Will Blow Your Mind!
- 13 Things Anyone Who Loves A Highly Sensitive Person Should Know
- High School students spots relic of ancient sun with super wide orbit
- Ancient Signs in the Sky: Did a Meteorite Change the Course of Christianity 2,000 Years Ago?
- Could Google's Project Fi be cable's answer to wireless?
- The Biggest Scientific Discoveries Of 2014
- Cosmic Time ~ The True Nature Of Time ~ Michio Kaku
Posted: 03 May 2015 06:57 PM PDT
Excerpt from huffingtonpost.com
File this one under: Yay!!!
Famously animal-loving Jon Stewart is said to have bought a farm in New Jersey, for purposes of giving home to rescued farm animals.
The announcement was made by Farm Sanctuary, which has three of its own pastoral paradises for neglected and abused farm animals.
The couple has a small menagerie of their own already -- Tracey told USA Today that their brood currently includes two each of kids, pigs, hamsters, guinea pigs and fish, plus four dogs, three rabbits and a parrot.
"All rescues," she said. "Except for the children."
Farm Sanctuary spokesperson Meredith Turner couldn't give The Huffington Post many details about the Stewarts' reported farm animal haven, but she did say, “We are ecstatic that there are people in the world like Jon and Tracey who care about the plight of factory farmed animals, and we encourage others to join them in support of Farm Sanctuary’s efforts to rescue, provide shelter and advocacy for these beautiful individuals.”
Posted: 03 May 2015 06:44 PM PDT
Posted: 03 May 2015 06:44 PM PDT
Posted: 03 May 2015 06:43 PM PDT
Excerpt from huffingtonpost.com
When I was in kindergarten, a boy in my class tossed my favorite book over our elementary school fence. I remember crying profusely, not because I was sad to see it go, but because I was so furious that he was such a bully. It was probably one of the first times I expressed my sensitivity to my peers -- a rollercoaster I still continue to ride each day.
Many of my friends lovingly tease me about my emotional reactivity, but it's certainly not like I can control it. Some people are just more sensitive than others, and that's not always a bad thing. I'm also not alone: Approximately one in five people -- women and men -- can be classified HSP, or as a highly sensitive person, according to HSP researcher and psychologist Elaine Aron, Ph.D. That makes it highly likely you know and love someone with the personality trait.
Below are a few things to keep in mind about your highly sensitive loved ones.
When we're happy, when we're sad and when we're angry. That's because highly sensitive people just naturally feel more deeply and react accordingly.
2. Not all of us are introverts.
Introversion does not equal sensitivity. In fact, according to Aron's research, approximately 30 percent of highly sensitive people are extroverts.
3. Decisions make us nervous.
Highly sensitive individuals are notoriously bad at making choices -- even if it's just picking out where to go to dinner. This is mostly because we agonize over the possibility of making the wrong one. (What if the food is bad?!)
4. We notice that subtle change in your tone.
If you normally end each text message with an exclamation point and lately you've been using a period, you better believe we'll pick up on it. Highly sensitive people are generally more intuitive when it comes to the tiny nuances of our environment and we're more affected by shifts in other people's moods.
5. We're always willing to hear you vent.
Don't be afraid to reach out to use us when you need a shoulder to lean on. Our overly-empathetic nature allows us to be excellent listeners when you need it, because when you feel pain so do we -- and we want to do whatever we can to make you feel comfortable. Highly sensitive people make excellent teachers, therapists and managers for this reason.
6. Repetitive and loud noises are the worst.
Loud chewing, a barreling train, boisterous co-workers: You name it, we're sensitive to it. That's because chaotic or overstimulating environments have more of an influence on HSPs, according to Aron.
7. Our workplace habits are a bit atypical.
Working from home or in a quiet space is a dream for highly sensitive people -- especially because it allows us to focus if we become too overwhelmed. However, don't let our solo work ethic fool you. "Sensitive people can use their observations to their advantage ... They're going to rise to the top," Aron previously told HuffPost. "They know how to bring ideas up without being ridiculed or scorned." HSPs also make excellent team players due to our analytical nature and thoughtfulness for others' ideas (just don't force us to make the final decision on a project).
8. Don't ask us to see that new slasher movie.
That same high empathy we experience for others combined with overstimulation makes gory, violent films truly terrible for highly sensitive people.
9. Criticism is incredibly distressing.
As a result, we tend to avoid anything that may cause those feelings of shame. This may mean we engage in people-pleasing or self-deprecating behavior more than most of our peers. In other words, we're far from perfect.
10. We're constantly being told we take things too personally.
A joke at our expense sometimes just isn't a joke to us. We know it's a little silly to be upset, but what else are we supposed to do with all of our feelings?
11. We have a low pain tolerance.
Pass the ice, please. It doesn't matter if it's a broken arm or just a stubbed toe, any injury really hurts. This is because highly sensitive people are more affected by pain than others, according to Aron's research.
12. We crave deep relationships.
According to Aron, highly sensitive people tend to get more bored in marriages than non-HSP couples, mostly due to the lack of meaningful interaction that naturally occurs as time goes on. However, this doesn't necessarily mean we're dissatisfied with the relationship -- we just need to find a way to have more stimulating conversations.
13. We can't just stop being highly sensitive.
A 2014 study published in the journal Brain and Behavior found that highly sensitive people experienced more activity in regions of the brain associated with empathy and awareness when exposed to pictures of emotional individuals than the average person. In other words, we're neurologically wired to behave the way that we do.
With that in mind, know that the best way to love us is to support us. Try not to shame us for our sensitivity. Tell us it's okay to feel the way we do. And in return, we'll try not to tear up over your kind words (no promises, though).
Posted: 03 May 2015 06:39 PM PDT
Excerpt from uncovercalifornia.com
A Pulsar with the widest orbit around a neutron star has been discovered by a team of high school students and the discovery has been confirmed by astronomers. High School students from many states who participated in NSF-funded educational outreach program have found the pulsar after analyzing data from Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT).
In a research paper accepted by the Astrophysical Journal, lead author Joe Swiggum, a graduate student in physics and astronomy at West Virginia University in Morgantown, said, “Pulsars are some of the most extreme objects in the universe. The students' discovery shows one of these objects in a really unique set of circumstances.”
The object has been codenamed PSR J1930-1852 by astronomers. It was discovered in 2012 by Cecilia McGough from Strasburg High School in Virginia and De'Shang Ray from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Baltimore, Maryland.
The discovery of a pulsar with extra wide orbit could help in understanding the concepts behind binary neutron star systems. Nearly 10 percent of known pulsars are in binary systems with most of them orbiting white dwarf companion stars. The Pulsar has been found with the widest separation from the other star in the binary neutron system.
During Pulsar Search Collaboratory (PSC) workshop in summer, students who are interested in analyzing survey data collected by Green Bank Telescope (GBT), spend weeks in checking data plots and searching for unique signatures of pulsars.
The Pulsar Search Collaboratory is a joint venture between the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and West Virginia University which offers real research opportunity to students.
Posted: 03 May 2015 06:34 PM PDT
Excerpt from ancient-origins.net
Did an ancient meteor have such a life-changing impact on witnesses of the day that it shaped a religion and altered the course of history? Astronomers theorize that the dramatic flash and boom that converted Paul the Apostle may have been an exploding meteor.
In the Christian Bible, it is written that a man named Saul experienced an event so extreme that it changed his views in an instant, and he became one of the most influential evangelists in early Christianity.
Saul was said to have been a vehement persecutor of the followers of Jesus and was traveling in search of disciples of Jesus for punishment. It is written in the fifth book of the New Testament, Acts of the Apostles, that Saul was on the road to Damascus, Syria, when a bright light appeared in the sky. So intense was the light that he was blinded for three days. What he heard was described as a great thunderous sound, or a divine voice. He and his companions are said to have been knocked to the ground by the force of the event. The experience was so profound that Saul changed his name to Paul, took up missionary journeys across the Mediterranean, and became instrumental in spreading Christianity.
The Conversion of Saint Paul – Paul and his companions are knocked to the ground by a resounding boom and brilliant light. Did a meteor cause this ancient event?
Meteor trail over Chelyabinsk, Russia. Wikimedia Commons
If true, then it’s possible that an act of nature may have been contributory in the spread and evolution of Christianity in its early days, and therefore shaped the course of history.
In a study published in the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science, Hartmann cites major events like the meteors or asteroids over Chelyabinsk, Russia and Tunguska, Siberia as offering “opportunities to compare reactions of modern eyewitnesses to eyewitness accounts of possible ancient fireball events.” There are consistencies among the many accounts suggesting the biblical descriptions of Paul’s experience closely match known modern events, reports NewScientist.
In the biblical accounts, Paul was blinded for three days due to the intense light from the sky; it was “brighter than the sun, shining round me,” according to the text. This matches the Chelyabinsk meteor, as it was calculated to be shining around three times as bright as the sun. The blazing fireball made shadows move around the ground as it travelled.
Paul and his companions were said to have been knocked to the earth, and this also corresponds to the shockwave generated by the powerful Chelyabinsk meteor as it blasted out windows, knocked people off their feet, shook cars and buildings, and collapsed roofs.
The divine voice is said to have either boomed like thunder, or questioned Paul’s behavior (the exact sound is debated). Meteors create great, explosive booms and roars which can be scary or painful even for those who know what they’re experiencing.
To the ancients the incredible and unfamiliar natural celestial events were interpreted through cultural understandings of the day – which is to say, they were considered divine or damning.
The Chelyabinsk meteor gave off small amounts of radiation, enough to cause sunburn and temporary blindness in witnesses. Harmann suggests that Paul could have suffered photokeratitis, a temporary blindness from intense ultraviolet radiation, and this explains the return of his sight after healing.
Paul having his sight restored after being blinded by a celestial light that might have been a meteor.
Hartmann told NewScientist, “Everything they are describing in those three accounts in the book of Acts are exactly the sequence you see with a fireball.”
IBTimes writes that the Acts of Apostles text describes three events of bright lights “from heaven” which took place around Damascus during the 30s B.C. If meteorites can be found in Syria, and accurately dated to the relevant timeframes, it might give support to the published theories.
Hartmann’s research aim is not to discredit Christianity, but to demonstrate how the interpretation of ancient events may have shaped how we exist today, spiritually and culturally.
This wouldn’t be the first meteorite in history to have potentially inspired worship or acted as an agent of change. In antiquity meteorites were seen as messages from the gods, or profound omens, and many cultures saw fallen meteorites as religious icons to be worshiped or as objects of protection. Jewelry and art has also been created from the space rocks.
Each year devout Muslims make the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, circling the Kaaba, or black stone, and give a nod or a kiss to the meteorite that is said to rest inside the Grand Mosque. The worship of the Black Stone goes back to pre-Islamic shrines, when Semitic cultures used unusual stones to signify sites of reverence. According to Muslim belief, the stone originates from the time of Adam and the Islamic prophet Muhammad set the Black Stone in place after it fell from the skies.
Posted: 03 May 2015 06:25 PM PDT
Excerpt from cnet.com
Google's Project Fi wireless service has the potential to turn the mobile industry on its head. But not in the way you might expect.
Last week, Google announced that it is working with carriers Sprint and T-Mobile to offer a wireless service that will seamlessly switch between Wi-Fi hotspots and 4G LTE cellular networks. It's calling the service Project Fi.
Project Fi on its own isn't likely to threaten the dominance of Verizon and AT&T, by far the two largest carriers in the nation, but it's potentially a big deal to the cable companies. Google could use its technology and clout to push for a more seamless transition between Wi-Fi and cellular -- something that hasn't worked so well in the past. That could pave the way for cable providers to make another bid into the wireless business by wedding cellular service with their own network of Wi-Fi hotspots.
"Google will be an accelerant in a market that the cable companies have already shown interest in," said Spencer Kurn, analyst at New Street Research. "It will help cable companies figure out how to improve the quality of the Wi-Fi service so that it can compete with wireless."
At least one person believes there's a logical convergence of cable and wireless: T-Mobile CEO John Legere. He said on his company's earnings conference call this week that it makes sense for wireless and cable companies to merge. Cable tiptoeing back into wireless through a Wi-Fi-based service may be a first step to an eventual deal.
For consumers, that could ultimately lead to more options in the wireless business, pitting cable against AT&T and Verizon in the wireless business. The two sides already compete for consumers in the landline phone, broadband and pay TV businesses.
How Project Fi worksThe basis of Project Fi is Google's use of more than a million Wi-Fi hotspots that it will use as the foundation of its network. The beauty of Wi-Fi is that it uses unlicensed spectrum, so setting up Wi-Fi hotspots is cheap. It's cheap enough that hotspots have sprouted up in locations ranging from your home to coffee shops and airports.
But Wi-Fi transmits signals over only short distances, making it too costly to build a network that offers coverage everywhere the way a cellular service, which uses licensed wireless spectrum, can.
To fill in the gaps of coverage, Google has inked deals with Sprint and T-Mobile to use their cellular networks when Wi-Fi isn't available or a signal is too weak. This is similar to other services from companies like Republic Wireless, Scratch Wireless and FreedomPop. They were among the first companies to build mobile businesses that use free Wi-Fi networks first and then fall over to cellular service as a backup when Wi-Fi is not available.
A key aspect of the Project Fi service is its use of technology that allows it to connect to determine which network offers the best connection. This means it will seek out the best-performing network, whether that's Wi-Fi or T-Mobile's or Sprint's 4G LTE and voice networks. And then it will seamlessly switch among these networks if the connection weakens. For instance, if you start a phone call or data session in a Wi-Fi hotspot at home and then get in your car and drive down the street, the call will stay connected even as your phone reconnects to a cellular service once it is out of range of the Wi-Fi connection.
Keeping costs low is the key to competing in this market against AT&T and Verizon. Because customers using a Wi-Fi-first service are on Wi-Fi networks about 95 percent of the time, according to Republic Wireless, the fees the operators must pay wireless operators, like Sprint and T-Mobile, for the use of their networks, are minimal. This allows Republic Wireless to offer a service starting for as little as $10 a month.
Google's service is priced a little higher than some of these other services. Google is charging $20 a month for unlimited voice, text and international coverage in more than 120 countries. It also charges $10 more a month for each gigabyte of data a customer uses. Data usage on Wi-Fi is free. If a customer doesn't use all the gigabytes he or she subscribed to, Google will offer a credit for any unused cellular data.
Though the service is priced far lower than typical cellular service, Google doesn't want to topple the carriers. Instead, it hopes to nudge the industry into thinking about different ways of offering wireless service.
"We don't intend to be a network operator at scale," Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of products for Google, said in a keynote address at the Mobile World Congress trade show in March, where he first confirmed Google's plans to launch a wireless service. "Our goal is to drive a set of innovations we think should arrive, but do it at a smaller scale, like Nexus devices, so people will see what we're doing."
Cable's mobile ambitionsThis technology could be a key driver in helping new entrants, like the cable companies, enter the wireless market. Since Wi-Fi will cover only a portion of a network, upstarts in the market will likely have to lease network capacity from established wireless players. A technology that can, on the fly, determine which connection will perform best lets operators strike deals with multiple wireless operators to get the best performance available when customers are not in an area with Wi-Fi.
This means cable companies could offer their subscribers faster and more-reliable connections when customers roam off Wi-Fi. It also might let the cable companies further reduce costs by forcing the carriers it leases capacity from to compete with each other.
"The cable industry already has an extensive Wi-Fi network, and they have a substantial amount of fixed assets in the ground that can be easily tapped in a way that current wireless can't," Kurn said. "If they can offload 80 to 90 percent of their traffic to their Wi-Fi networks, and provide cellular access to fill in the gaps, their costs to offer service would be a fraction of what it is for the big carriers."
For years, the nation's largest cable companies, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Cox and Bright House Networks, have been building out public Wi-Fi networks in their territories. The service has mainly been used as perk for home broadband customers, providing free Wi-Fi access to subscribers when they aren't at home. To extend the footprint of their individual networks, the companies, which all operate in different regions, created CableWiFi, which connects their disparate Wi-Fi networks to offer cable subscribers access to more than 200,000 indoor and outdoor hotspots throughout the country.
Comcast has also launched a new service that partitions home Wi-Fi routers so these devices also broadcast a public Wi-Fi signal. This has expanded its Wi-Fi footprint even further.
It's no secret that cable companies have wanted a piece of the mobile market for a long time. In 2005, a group of cable companies partnered with Sprint on a joint venture called Pivot, which allowed each cable provider to sell its own branded wireless service through Sprint's network. Some of them bought their own spectrum in 2006 and 2008 but eventually sold it to Verizon in 2011.
Cablevision has been the only cable company to test the waters with its own limited wireless service. Earlier this year, it launched a Wi-Fi calling service called Freewheel. But the service works only on Wi-Fi and doesn't offer a cellular backup option to improve network coverage.
So far big cable companies are keeping quiet about their plans to move into the wireless market. But executives are likely watching Google and Project Fi closely.
"Google is doing some interesting things," said a cable executive who didn't want to be named. "It could be a beacon in the wilderness that paves the way for anyone looking to compete against AT&T and Verizon."
A shaky handoffAll of this sounds great, but a Wi-Fi-first system has one catch: there's no guarantee the service will work well on Wi-Fi, or when you're moving between Wi-Fi and cellular networks. This may be fine if you're downloading email to your smartphone, but it's unacceptable when it comes to making voice calls or streaming video.
Some work has been done by Republic Wireless, Scratch Wireless and T-Mobile to improve the quality of those calls and the handoff between different networks. Wi-Fi standards groups have also tried to help alleviate some of these problems with standards to define network handoffs as well as other technical issues.
But more work is needed to make a Wi-Fi-first service work as seamlessly and effortlessly as a cellular network run by an individual carrier. In order to make it work today, Republic and Scratch have had to work closely with handset makers to adapt devices to be able to make these transitions.
This is a time-consuming and expensive process that severely limits the devices that these services can offer customers. Are you a Republic Wireless customer who also wants to use an iPhone? You're out of luck.
This is where Google's Project Fi can play a significant role in the development of the technology, said Jon Finegold, vice president of marketing at Scratch Wireless.
"Google controls the operating system," he said. "And it has influence throughout the entire ecosystem. We've tried to make it easier to get onto Wi-Fi networks and to switch between Wi-Fi and cellular networks, but Google will be able to do so way faster than we ever could on our own."
Indeed, Google's control of Android, the most widely used mobile operating system in the world, could help improve the Wi-Fi first service by baking new technology innovations directly in to the software. And because of its role in the device ecosystem, Google could influence chipmakers and even network equipment makers to include technologies that make using Wi-Fi and cellular more seamless.
"We'd never have that kind of influence over the market in terms of getting technology into devices and network equipment," Finegold added.
Posted: 03 May 2015 06:13 PM PDT
Posted: 03 May 2015 06:01 PM PDT