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NASA's Hubble Captures Blistering Pitch-Black Planet

Slashdot - 21 min 17 sec ago
schwit1 writes: NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has observed a planet outside our solar system that looks as black as fresh asphalt because it eats light rather than reflecting it back into space. This light-eating prowess is due to the planet's unique capability to trap at least 94 percent of the visible starlight falling into its atmosphere. The oddball exoplanet, called WASP-12b, is one of a class of so-called "hot Jupiters," gigantic, gaseous planets that orbit very close to their host star and are heated to extreme temperatures. The planet's atmosphere is so hot that most molecules are unable to survive on the blistering day side of the planet, where the temperature is 4,600 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, clouds probably cannot form to reflect light back into space. Instead, incoming light penetrates deep into the planet's atmosphere where it is absorbed by hydrogen atoms and converted to heat energy. "We did not expect to find such a dark exoplanet," said Taylor Bell of McGill University and the Institute for Research on Exoplanets in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, lead researcher of the Hubble study. "Most hot Jupiters reflect about 40 percent of starlight."

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Categories: Misc

20170919

Baker-Watts - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 01:33
Categories: Misc

20170915

Baker-Watts - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 01:33
Categories: Misc

20170914

Baker-Watts - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 01:33
Categories: Misc

20170913

Baker-Watts - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 01:33
Categories: Misc

20170912

Baker-Watts - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 01:33
Categories: Misc

bObsweep Junior Robotic Vacuum Cleaner

Woot - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 01:00

This is a dream robot- if your dreams involve robots vacuuming your house while you're at work.

They say that this vacuum is every family's dream robot, but I beg to differ. My family's dream robot is not a vacuum cleaner (though, admittedly not having to vacuum anymore would be nice). My family's dream robot would be a device that could go to the grocery store and pick up ice cream when it's after 10pm and no one in the house wants to put on real pants or be seen in public.
Categories: Misc

The Woot app is bigger than ever!

Woot - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 01:00
Because it's on tablets now! Get it?

Hey you know about the Woot app? WHAT DO YOU MEAN NO, IT'S THE GREATEST APP SINCE THEY INVENTED APPS.

Anyhoo, now it's available for iOS and Android tablets. Check it out:

Have an appsolutely fabulous day.

Categories: Misc

The Debunker: Will You Get Straight A's If Your College Roommate Commits Suicide?

Woot - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 01:00

It's September and parents are rejoicing, because kids are (finally!) heading back to school! Crayons and binders and graphing calculators are flying off store shelves; beanbag chairs for dorm rooms are getting stuffed into the backs of station wagons. But maybe we all need to be taken to school, because a lot of the stuff we think we know about education would get us an 'F' on the final exam. Ken Jennings, that Jeopardy! guy, will be standing in front of the class all month with his red marker at the ready, to correct all that academic misinformation.

The Debunker: Will You Get Straight A's If Your College Roommate Commits Suicide?

Short answer: YES! But only if you already had straight A's before the tragedy as well.

The Debunker

This urban legend—that universities will grant students an automatic 4.0 for the term if their roommate commits suicide—dates back to the 1970s. Snopes.com records " several more baroque variations: a 3.5 GPA if multiple roommates are left behind, a 3.4 for roommates who never saw the body, sometimes a year of free tuition to boot. A few decades later, this belief was so engrained in the culture that it became the premise of two different 1998 movies: Dead Man on Campus with Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Tom Everett Scott, and The Curve with Matthew Lillard and Keri Russell. What exactly was going on in 1998?

As folklore researcher Jan Harold Brunvand found when he investigated the story for his 1989 book Curses! Broiled Again!, no American institution of higher learning has such a "dead roommate" policy in place, though most will make allowances for students who face a traumatic life event during a school term. But these remedies fall far short of the mythical automatic 4.0: Columbia University, for example, recommends asking professors for due date extensions, waived attendance, and make-up exams. Basically the same stuff college students do all the time even when their roommates are still alive and breathing.

Anyone who's actually been in this situation knows that, after a peer's suicide, shock and emotional trauma make GPA concerns look small and silly by comparison. Economist Daniel Hamermesh points out that an "automatic 4.0" policy might cause an adverse selection effect: students would be incentivized to seek out sick or emotionally vulnerable roommates. There might also be a "moral hazard" effect in which lazy students decide to endanger or even murder their fellow dorm residents just to hit that sweet 4.0 jackpot. College students: if you're considering such a thing, please take note that this was already a CSI:NY episode, and the guy got caught.

Quick Quiz: What nineteen-year-old tried to kill himself in Sarajevo in 1914, only to survive because his cyanide pill was expired?

Ken Jennings is the author of eleven books, most recently his Junior Genius Guides, Because I Said So!, and Maphead. He's also the proud owner of an underwhelming Bag o' Crap. Follow him at ken-jennings.com or on Twitter as @KenJennings.

Categories: Misc

Random Thoughts about the Vietnam War Documentary

Balloon Juice - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 00:26

One of the things that I have been wondering about our involvement in the Vietnam War is how arrogant we were- at one point late in episode 2, Neil Sheehan mentions that “We thought we were the exceptions to history, the Americans. History didn’t apply to us.”

It makes me wonder- how did we get so arrogant so fast? We weren’t a global power until recently in the post WWII era. Or am I wrong about that? I never thought of the United States as a real global power until the 1950’s. I sort of thought of us as bit players throughout WW1 and up until the very end of WWII and our development of nukes. And we were damned near really humbled in Korea. How did we get the mentality that we can’t lose?

Or, again, am I just wrong about this?

Categories: Politics

Bears hand Grizzlies first loss

Medina Gazette - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 23:41
Brad Bournival
Categories: Misc

Bears hand Grizzlies first loss

Medina Gazette - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 23:41
Brad Bournival
Categories: Misc

Colts avenge loss to Comets

Medina Gazette - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 23:36

 

Categories: Misc

Analysis: Trump defines doctrine as sovereignty for major powers

Medina Gazette - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 23:36

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump used variations of the word “sovereign” 21 times during Tuesday’s 42-minute speech to the U.N. General Assembly, driving home his belief that countries, not international institutions like the U.N., will and should determine the fate of the world by pursuing their own best interests.

Categories: Misc

Colts avenge loss to Comets

Medina Gazette - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 23:36

 

Categories: Misc

Analysis: Trump defines doctrine as sovereignty for major powers

Medina Gazette - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 23:36

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump used variations of the word “sovereign” 21 times during Tuesday’s 42-minute speech to the U.N. General Assembly, driving home his belief that countries, not international institutions like the U.N., will and should determine the fate of the world by pursuing their own best interests.

Categories: Misc

Slain trooper's daughter talks moving past hate

Medina Gazette - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 23:31

MEDINA TWP. — Andria Velez, surviving daughter of Ohio Highway Patrol Trooper Kenneth Velez, stood up in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court on Sept. 8 and forgave the man who killed her father.

Categories: Misc

North Park Plaza touted as gathering place in Brunswick

Medina Gazette - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 23:31

BRUNSWICK — A taste of Crocker Park has arrived in the city.

Categories: Misc

North Park Plaza touted as gathering place in Brunswick

Medina Gazette - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 23:31

BRUNSWICK — A taste of Crocker Park has arrived in the city.

Categories: Misc

Slain trooper's daughter talks moving past hate

Medina Gazette - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 23:31

MEDINA TWP. — Andria Velez, surviving daughter of Ohio Highway Patrol Trooper Kenneth Velez, stood up in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court on Sept. 8 and forgave the man who killed her father.

Categories: Misc