Daily Archives: August 2, 2021

I Changed Astronomy Forever. He Won the Nobel Prize for It. | ‘Almost Famous’ by Op-Docs

The New York Times – Jul 29, 2021

Growing up in a Quaker household, Jocelyn Bell Burnell was raised to believe that she had as much right to an education as anyone else. But as a girl in the 1940s in Northern Ireland, her enthusiasm for the sciences was met with hostility from teachers and male students. Undeterred, she went on to study radio astronomy at Glasgow University, where she was the only woman in many of her classes.

In 1967, Burnell made a discovery that altered our perception of the universe. As a Ph.D. student at Cambridge University assisting the astronomer Anthony Hewish, she discovered pulsars — compact, spinning celestial objects that give off beams of radiation, like cosmic lighthouses. (A visualization of some early pulsar data is immortalized as the album art for Joy Division’s “Unknown Pleasures.”)

But as Ben Proudfoot’s “The Silent Pulse of the Universe” shows, the world wasn’t yet ready to accept that a breakthrough in astrophysics could have come from a young woman.

See more of “Almost Famous:” https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4…

The Big Money Behind the Big Lie | The New Yorker

By Jane Mayer

August 2, 2021
Bill Gates, a Republican official in Arizona, is appalled by his party’s “national effort to delegitimize the election system.”Photograph by Stephen Ross Goldstein for The New Yorker,

t was tempting to dismiss the show unfolding inside the Dream City Church in Phoenix, Arizona, as an unintended comedy. One night in June, a few hundred people gathered for the première of “The Deep Rig,” a film financed by the multimillionaire founder of Overstock.com, Patrick Byrne, who is a vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump. Styled as a documentary, the movie asserts that the 2020 Presidential election was stolen by supporters of Joe Biden, including by Antifa members who chatted about their sinister plot on a conference call. The evening’s program featured live appearances by Byrne and a local QAnon conspiracist, BabyQ, who claimed to be receiving messages from his future self. They were joined by the film’s director, who had previously made an exposé contending that the real perpetrators of 9/11 were space aliens.

But the event, for all its absurdities, had a dark surprise: “The Deep Rig” repeatedly quotes Doug Logan, the C.E.O. of Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based company that consults with clients on software security. In a voice-over, Logan warns, “If we don’t fix our election integrity now, we may no longer have a democracy.” He also suggests, without evidence, that members of the “deep state,” such as C.I.A. agents, have intentionally spread disinformation about the election. Although it wasn’t the first time that Logan had promoted what has come to be known as the Big Lie about the 2020 election—he had tweeted unsubstantiated claims that Trump had been victimized by voter fraud—the film offered stark confirmation of Logan’s entanglement in fringe conspiracies. Nevertheless, the president of the Arizona State Senate, Karen Fann, has put Logan’s company in charge of a “forensic audit”—an ongoing review of the state’s 2020 Presidential vote. It’s an unprecedented undertaking, with potentially explosive consequences for American democracy.

Approximately 2.1 million Presidential votes were cast in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix and accounts for most of the state’s population. In recent years, younger voters and people of color have turned the county’s electorate increasingly Democratic—a shift that helped Biden win the traditionally conservative state, by 10,457 votes. Since the election, the county has become a focus of ire for Trump and his supporters. By March, when Logan’s company was hired, the county had already undergone four election audits, all of which upheld the outcome. Governor Doug Ducey, a Republican and a former Trump ally, had certified Biden’s victory. But Trump’s core supporters were not assuaged.

…(read more).

How Bison Are Saving America’s Lost Prairie

PBS Terra– Jan 14, 2021

American prairies were once home to as many as 60 million bison. But when ranching and agriculture displaced elk and bison from the prairies, America’s grasslands all but disappeared. Now, the Nature Conservancy manages the largest remaining protected tract of tallgrass prairie in the entire world, the Joseph H. Williams Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in northeastern Oklahoma.

This 40,000-acre expanse is much more than grass. It is a biologically rich habitat that harbors a diverse collection of plant and animal species—more than 750 species of flora and 80 different mammals. This prairie is also a vital component in nature’s fight against climate change. The key to keeping the prairie healthy? Bison.

The Nature Conservancy reintroduced 300 bison to this prairie in 1993, and the herd has grown to more than 2,000 animals today. They graze on the majority of the preserve, playing an important part in enhancing the prairies. Combined with a method of land management known as patch burning—preserve managers torch about a third of the acreage every spring, summer, and fall, mimicking ancient seasons of fire—the tallgrass prairie is thriving.

The history and future of Butte, Montana

CBS Sunday Morning– Aug 1, 2021

For a small town, Butte, Montana is rich in history – from being, at one time, the largest city between Chicago and San Francisco, to being the site of one of the world’s most productive copper mines. But the closing of mines, and their distinction of being home to one of the nation’s largest Superfund sites, have long cast a shadow over the place. Last summer the residents of Butte turned a corner in their efforts to reverse environmental damage and be delisted as a Superfund site. Correspondent Luke Burbank reports on how the town’s past is informing its march forward.

Farmers deal with surge of grasshoppers

CBC News: The National – Aug 2, 2021

After a hot and dry growing season, Manitoba farmers have yet another thing to worry about — grasshoppers threatening to destroy their crops.

U.S. Sees 100,000 New Covid Cases In Single Day

NBC News – Aug 2, 2021

The U.S. has surpassed last summer’s average for new cases as the delta variant fills ICUs. This comes as the White House confirmed 70 percent of adults are at least partially vaccinated.

YALI 10 Summit

The U.S. Department of State, in partnership with the Wilson Center’s Africa Program, hosted the YALI 10 Summit, an all-virtual event, from May 24-28, 2021.

FULL SHOW Drone attacks on tankers: New war era?

RT AmericaAug 2, 2021
A tanker operated by an Israeli owned company was hit by a suspected drone attack off the coast of Oman. Iranian officials deny any involvement, but are they telling the truth? Or did Tehran in fact employ a new and even deadlier tactic against its enemies?

First Contact – The Day the Plane Came

zanuvioFeb 21, 2015
Clip from the film First Contact, showing the arrival of the first aeroplane in the Wahgi Valley of Papuan New Guinea.

08/02/21: Press Briefing by White House COVID 19 Response Team and Public Health Officials

The White House165 viewsAug 2, 2021
The White House