Halloween images from Fright Night at the PNE in Vancouver.
All photograph credits to my husband –
Halloween images from Fright Night at the PNE in Vancouver.
All photograph credits to my husband –
Trailers and trees – images of Vancouver this week.
All photographs captured by my husband –
NASA’s unassuming civil servant Cassini has a thing or two to prove. Before graciously accepting an inevitable and long overdue retirement -Cassini obligingly agreed to traipse through daunting plumes of ice and water vapor, allowing mankind unprecedented insight into ice plumes erupting from the south pole of Saturn’s moon Enceladus.
Eighteen years after launch, seven years en-route to Saturn, eleven years exploring Saturn and her moons, two mission extensions beyond wildest expectations – Cassini has nothing to lose. On October 28 this sentiment meant taking a dive at 31,000 kph to within 45 Km of Enceladus at the south pole, directly into erupting “plumes” of icy vapor.
Below – seven facts about Cassini/Enceladus from earthsky (linked above)
1. Early in its mission, Cassini discovered Enceladus has remarkable geologic activity, including a towering plume of ice, water vapor and organic molecules spraying from its south polar region. Cassini later determined the moon has a global ocean and likely hydrothermal activity, meaning it could have the ingredients needed to support simple life.
2. The flyby will be Cassini’s deepest-ever dive through the Enceladus plume, which is thought to come from the ocean below. The spacecraft has flown closer to the surface of Enceladus before, but never this low directly through the active plume.
3. The flyby is not intended to detect life, but it will provide powerful new insights about how habitable the ocean environment is within Enceladus.
4. Cassini scientists are hopeful the flyby will provide insights about how much hydrothermal activity – that is, chemistry involving rock and hot water – is occurring within Enceladus. This activity could have important implications for the potential habitability of the ocean for simple forms of life. The critical measurement for these questions is the detection of molecular hydrogen by the spacecraft.
5. Scientists also expect to better understand the chemistry of the plume as a result of the flyby. The low altitude of the encounter is, in part, intended to afford Cassini greater sensitivity to heavier, more massive molecules, including organics, than the spacecraft has observed during previous, higher-altitude passes through the plume.
6. The flyby will help solve the mystery of whether the plume is composed of column-like, individual jets, or sinuous, icy curtain eruptions — or a combination of both. The answer would make clearer how material is getting to the surface from the ocean below.
7. Researchers are not sure how much icy material the plumes are actually spraying into space. The amount of activity has major implications for how long Enceladus might have been active.
Linked below, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory definitive guide to Cassini.
Ponder the exquisite magnificence of Cassini’s accomplishments.
I love my line of work. Just when I think I’ve seen it all, along comes a twenty five foot circus marionette dangling wine faeries from each arm. Kicking myself for not capturing clearer images – understand it required considerable effort to take pictures at all – we had work to do. As upwards of 200 guests poured into the concourse of Vancouver Public Library, our service staff offered an empty wine glass to each guest. “David” the marionette from Underground Circus dropped wine faeries from above, filling out-stretched glasses.
Dubbed the Halloween asteroid, media touts 2015 TB145 as the “largest known asteroid to pass Earth until 2027”. At 1:05 pm ET on October 31, 2015 TB145 will pass Earth’s orbit at a distance of 498,896 Km. Estimated to have a diameter somewhere between 4 – 5 hundred meters, science isn’t sure if it’s an asteroid or comet. We know it kicks ass – traveling at 126,000 Km an hour. What we didn’t know before October 10 was that it even existed.
On October 10, 2015 Pan STARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii identified 2015 TB 145. Practically overnight media gave birth to the “Halloween Asteroid”, I suppose no one could blame them, it possesses a certain degree of dramatic flair. Over the past few days “have you heard about the Halloween asteroid?” spewed from more lips than I could count, unaware their small talk just rang my space bell.
Unable to stop if I tried, ” it was only discovered 3 weeks ago by Pan STARRS and as of today is one of 1,633 PHAs, potentially hazardous asteroids over 100 meters within 100 lunar distance of Earth. A lunar distance is the distance from Earth to the Moon or 384,401 Km, and the Halloween asteroid will miss us by 1.3 lunar distance”. – befuddled small talkers manage – “oh my, you know a lot about this stuff”. “Yes, I suppose I do”.
Don’t get me wrong, nothing makes me happier than awareness of all things space. Every so often media latches onto space news deemed worthy of a headline or two. What’s sad is the lapse of wonder in between, a seemingly oblivious regard for the cosmos. TB 145 won’t squash Halloween festivities, but would it kill us to ponder our fragile existence?
Artist’s concept of a large asteroid passing Earth, via Shutterstock.
My sister was kind enough to post Every #1 Hit Song in Four Chords to my Facebook timeline.
This video never gets old. I have no words other than please watch and ponder.
Last night Canada remembered what it meant to be Canadian. Ours isn’t a nation of hysterical fear. Slick manipulation of truth can’t sway us. Average citizens can change the world – we proved financial might doesn’t make right. Canada demolished conservative values, we recognized those values for what they were – self serving, hypocritical poppycock.
Trudeau’s solid majority exceeded my wildest dreams. Then came his victory speech. Holy crap, this is too good – Trudeau unleashed his inner Abraham Lincoln. From Lincoln’s inauguration speech –
Justin Trudeau last night –
“You can appeal to the better angels of our nature and you can win while doing that.”
Trudeau told the cheering crowd. “In Canada, better is always possible.”“We beat fear with hope. We beat cynicism with hard work. We beat negative politics,”
In 1861, Abraham Lincoln shared a rough draft of his inaugural speech with Secretary of State William Seward. Seward recommended revisions for Lincoln to consider. including “better angels” from Charles Dickens novel Barnaby Rudge. Seward admired Dickens, Lincoln was moved and adapted “our better angels” into “better angels of our nature” in his inaugural speech.
As an aside – Dickens, simply because it’s worth pondering –
“The thoughts of worldly men are for ever regulated by a moral law of gravitation, which, like the physical one, holds them down to earth. The bright glory of day, and the silent wonders of a starlit night, appeal to their minds in vain. There are no signs in the sun, or in the moon, or in the stars, for their reading. They are like some wise men, who, learning to know each planet by its Latin name, have quite forgotten such small heavenly constellations as Charity, Forbearance, Universal Love, and Mercy, although they shine by night and day so brightly that the blind may see them; and who, looking upward at the spangled sky, see nothing there but the reflection of their own great wisdom and book-learning…
“It is curious to imagine these people of the world, busy in thought, turning their eyes towards the countless spheres that shine above us, and making them reflect the only images their minds contain…So do the shadows of our own desires stand between us and our better angels, and thus their brightness is eclipsed. (italics added)
Dear Stephen Harper,
Tomorrow Canadian voices rejoice in song –
“Bye, bye Mr. Harper goodbye. With your psychopathic ways and your evil eye, if you had your way you’d bleed Canada dry. As a leader you don’t qualify, so Mr. Harper goodbye.”
Do the names Bruce Carson or the Canada School of Energy and Environment (CSEE) ring a bell? I’m guessing not.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper made convicted fraudster Bruce Carson a top adviser and point person on sensitive files including the oilsands and Afghanistan.
Stephen Harper is well acquainted with Carson, a man the RCMP describe as “one of the Prime Minister’s longest serving advisers”. From 2009 – 2011 Carson, Nigel Wright (Harper’s Chief of Staff who resigned in 2013 over the Mike Duffy Senate scandal) and a cluster of energy industry CEOs ran CSEE at the University of Calgary.
In 2007 the Conservative government budgeted $15 million tax payer dollars to the University of Calgary for creation of a university “think-tank” exploring smart energy research. University president Harvey Weingarten and climate change scientist David Keith had pitched the idea to Harper’s senior policy adviser Bruce Carson. (who happened to be on loan to Environment Canada, mending fences in the wake of Canada’s refusal to honour the Kyoto Protocol on climate change). Fast forward a year – Carson leaves the Prime Minister’s office for his new position at U of C, executive director of CSEE. Never mind his lack of energy or academic credentials, apparently a fruitless international recruitment search deemed Carson the best man for the job.
Immediately apparent was a “centre of excellence for Canada research, policy and advice”, supposedly focused on developing clean energy and protection of the environment, doing nothing of the sort. Carson steered CSEE away from clean energy research, setting the stage for what ” became a front for industry lobbying and government propaganda at taxpayers expense’. Clean energy research, replaced by flagrant partisan objectives to rid public perceptions of “dirty oil”.
Bruce Carson was known for referring to himself as the”mechanic”, a “political fixer who got things done in the corridors of power”. Stephen Harper wasn’t bothered by Carson’s criminal past, a good mechanic is worth their weight in gold. The Law Society of Upper Canada disbarred Carson in the 80s for defrauding clients of countless dollars. In 1990 Carson pleaded guilty to defrauding a car rental agency and bank out of thousands more dollars. Of note – 9 of the 15 million dollar federal operating grant for CSEE was allocated towards Carson’s salary, travel and operating expenses.
Carson’s latest criminal charge, “influence peddling” has gone to trial and is waiting judgement. Pull up your panties Canada, it’s about to get juicy.
Between 2010/11 Ottawa water filtration company H2O Pros wanted to sell filtration systems to First Nations people. (You know, those aboriginal communities who’ve had to boil drinking water for 17 years). For Carson’s assistance in the matter, a cut of H2O sales would go to Michelle McPherson, Carson’s 22 year old fiancee, a former “escort” worker 44 years younger than Carson. Carson who worked with Indian Affairs and Northern Development and co-chaired a task force on native land claims pleaded not guilty, electing for trial by judge not jury. Below, excerpts of Carson’s statements to RCMP following his arrest –
“There was nothing done here that was in my view untoward at all and to end up being in this situation where the time of a whole lot of people is being taken up because of this, I’m profoundly sorry, I am just sick over the whole thing,” he told two police interrogators in a meeting arranged by his lawyer McCann.
“I never thought when Michele mentioned this to me we would ever be in this kind of a situation,” said Carson, now unemployed. “The whole thing completely threw me.”
Michele McPherson: at age 22 she became Bruce Carson’s live-in girlfriend and business partner selling water filtration systems to First Nations reserves. The business collapsed when RCMP charged Carson with influence peddling.
Obvious doesn’t need to be beaten on the head – stop Stephen Harper. Read the full story written by Andrew Nikiforuk in The Tyee.