NASA Administrator Bolden told Al Jazeera that the agency’s new priority is outreach to Muslims. After gutting NASA and killing its space program, the agency focused on its new top priority by appointing Waleed Abdalati, as its new Chief Scientist. Waleed Abdalati is a twofer, as a Muslim and a Global Warming researcher. So the Obama Administration gets to kill off the space program and replace it with Global Warming junk science headed by a Muslim. It’s what the devil would call synergy.
The Infinite Muslim Terrorists Theory holds that every Muslim grievance creates new terrorists. Like an angel getting its wings every time a bell rings, the Infinite Muslim Terrorists Theory warns us that every time we offend Muslims, it bring forth new terrorists. And shooting them does no good. Because shooting terrorists only offends Muslims even more. And that generates still more terrorists. Kill a terrorist and four more take his place. And if the process keeps going, there will eventually be more Muslim terrorists in the world than there are Muslims, causing the entire world to implode into the event horizon of a singularity.
more via docstalk.blogspot.com
image via grouchyoldcripple.com, motivationalpostersonline.blogspot.com,
Sarkozy_and_Berlusconi are demanding European deportation pacts with the countries of revolutionary north Africa to send migrants home.
France and Italy have thrown down the gauntlet over Europe’s system of passport-free travel, saying a crisis of immigration sparked by the Arab spring was calling into question the borderless regime enjoyed by more than 400 million people in 25 countries.Challenging one of the biggest achievements of European integration of recent decades, Nicolas Sarkozy and Silvio Berlusconi also launched a joint effort to stem immigration and demanded European deportation pacts with the countries of revolutionary north Africa to send new arrivals packing.
The French president and the Italian prime minister, at a summit in Rome, opted to pile the pressure on Brussels and the governments of the other 25 EU states, demanding an “in-depth revision” of European law regulating the passport-free travel that takes in almost all of the EU with the exception of Britain and Ireland.
Prompted by the influx to Italy of almost 30,000 immigrants, mainly from Tunisia, in recent months, the two leaders warned that the upheavals in north Africa “could swiftly become an out-and-out crisis capable of undermining the trust our fellow citizens place in the free circulation within the Schengen area”.
The passport-free travel system known as the Schengen regime was agreed by a handful of countries in 1985 and put into practice in 1995. Since then it has been embraced by 22 EU countries as well as Norway, Switzerland and Iceland, but spurned by Britain and Ireland. It is widely seen, along with the euro single currency, as Europe’s signature unification project of recent decades.
But like the euro, fighting its biggest crisis over the past year, the Schengen regime is being tested amid mounting populism and the renationalisation of politics across the EU.
In other setbacks to borderless Europe, Germany, France and other countries have been blocking the admission of Bulgaria and Romania to Schengen in recent months, while the arrival of thousands of Middle Eastern migrants in Greece has fed exasperation with Athens’s inability to control the EU’s southern border.
The Franco-Italian move, following weeks of bad-tempered exchanges between Paris and Rome over how to deal with the Tunisian influx, is the biggest threat yet to the Schengen regime.
“For the treaty to stay alive, it must be reformed,” Sarkozy said. Berlusconi added: “We both believe that in exceptional circumstances there should be variations to the Schengen treaty.”
They sent a joint letter to the European commission and European council chiefs, José Manuel Barroso and Herman Van Rompuy, urging proposals from Brussels and agreement on a new system at an EU summit of government heads in June.
The commission said it was drawing up new proposals, tinkering with the current system, to be unveiled next week. But it has resisted, with the support of most EU governments, intense Italian pressure to label the arrivals from north Africa an emergency.
Under European law the border-free regime can be suspended only for reasons of national security, routinely invoked in recent years by member states hosting major international sporting events such as the World Cup or the European football championships, where individual countries contend with a huge, one-off influx of foreigners.
Sarkozy and Berlusconi insisted the rules be changed to allow more restrictions on freedom of travel. A new deal was “indispensable”, they said. The June summit should “examine the possibility of temporarily re-establishing internal frontier controls in case of exceptional difficulty in the management of the [EU’s] common external frontiers”.
This, however, would clearly not be in the interests of Italy, which fears an end to the hostilities in Libya could spark an even bigger exodus. In that event, the letter said, the EU should provide “mechanisms of specific solidarity” including the distribution of immigrants among member states.
This will prove extremely divisive and will be rejected by countries such as Germany and Sweden, which have much higher numbers of asylum seekers than Italy, less restrictive immigration policies, and little sympathy for Italy’s plight.
The concerted Franco-Italian initiative also called for accords between the EU and north African countries on repatriating immigrants, a policy certain to spark outrage among human rights groups, the refugee lobby, and more liberal EU governments.
Promising strong support for the democratic revolutions sweeping the Maghreb and the Middle East, Sarkozy and Berlusconi added: “In exchange we have the right to expect from our partner countries a commitment to a rapid and efficacious co-operation with the European Union and its member states in fighting illegal immigration.”
Tuesday’s move followed weeks of feuding between Rome and Paris over the Tunisian exodus. Furious at the failure of other EU countries to “share the burden”, the Italians granted visas to the immigrants enabling them to move elsewhere in the EU. The Germans and the Austrians complained. The Belgians accused Rome of “cheating” on the Schengen rulebook. The French government promptly closed a part of the border with Italy briefly, re-erecting passport controls to halt trains.
But Berlusconi and Sarkozy, seeking to curry favour with the strong far-right constituencies in both countries, sought to bury their differences by urging the rest of Europe to buy into their anti-immigration agenda.
If all goes according to plan, by December 2012 a team of three young Israeli scientists will have landed a tiny spacecraft on the moon, explored the lunar surface, and transmitted live video back to earth, thereby scooping up a $20 million prize (the Google Lunar X Prize), revolutionizing space exploration, and making the Jewish State the third nation (after the U.S. and Russia) to land a probe on the moon. And they’re doing it in their spare time.
The three engineers – Yariv Bash (electronics and computers), Kfir Damari (communication systems), and Yonatan Winetraub (satellite systems) all have high-level day jobs in the Israeli science and technology world, and also both teach and study. They all had heard of the Google Lunar X Prize independently, before being introduced by mutual friends who, as Yonatan puts it “thought we were all crazy enough to do it, so we should meet each other.”
By the end of November 2010 they had sketched together a novel plan to win the prize and submitted it to organizers. Only on December 21 (10 days before the December 31 deadline) did they set about raising the $50,000 entry fee. “Like good Israelis we left it to the last minute,” Yonatan laughs.
Since then they’ve recruited around 50 volunteers from across the Israeli science and technology community and have gained support from academic institutions, including the prestigious Weizmann Institute of Science (founded in 1933 by Chaim Weizmann, himself a successful chemist who went on to become Israel’s first president). They’re operating as a non-profit (“we’re looking for stakeholders,” says Project Coordinator Ronna Rubinstein), and any winnings will be invested in promoting science among Israeli youth.
The X Prize’s organizers say their competition is intended to attract “mavericks” who “take new approaches and think creatively about difficult problems, resulting in truly innovative breakthroughs.” They see the moon as a largely untapped resource, and believe that “inexpensive, regular access to the Moon is a critical stepping stone for further exploration.”
Maverick and creative thinkers the Israeli trio appear to be: According to the X Prize organizers, the 29 competing teams will spend between $15 million and $100 million on the project, with the earliest launch not scheduled until 2013. The Israelis aim to spend less than that (around $10 million) and to launch before 2013.
“One of reasons that we’re able to do this,” Kfir (who started programming aged six and wrote his first computer virus aged 11) explains, “is because of our different perspective. Most space missions aim to last many years and so have to be built in a certain way. Ours doesn’t have to last as long. This saves cost.”
Another way the team intends to keep costs down involves utilizing existing technology that just hasn’t previously been linked up for this purpose, rather than spending a new fortune. Naturally the team isn’t releasing specific details of the technology they’re using, but they’re confident that they’ve got what they need.
And once they’re on the moon? “The actual robot will be something the size of a coca-cola bottle,” says Yonatan. “Think about it – a cell phone has most of the capabilities necessary for communication and imaging, and to that we need to add a hopper” to move around the moon. “Simple” really. And the impact of this? “Once we do this it will break the glass ceiling,” Yonatan adds, “and show that space exploration doesn’t have to be expensive.”
As to why they got involved? “Three reasons,” say Yonatan, “Creating national pride, really putting Israel on the map as a start-up nation by doing something only the superpowers have done, and reigniting Israeli interest in science.” And it’s the third – rejuvenating interest among Israeli youth in science – that’s closest to these young scientists’ hearts.
In the 1960s and 1970s, they say, many young Israelis pursued careers in science, in part inspired by the American space program. Today that isn’t the case, and the number of high school seniors majoring in science is constantly declining. “We want to show that science isn’t just about sitting in a lab all day,” says Kfir.
In 1919 French hotelier Raymond Orteig offered $25,000 for the first non-stop flight between New York City and Paris. Eight years later Charles Lindbergh, considered an underdog, won the prize by making the crossing in his “Spirit of St. Louis.” That not only changed the way people saw flying, but how they saw the world.
The X Prize was inspired by the Orteig Prize, and if the “Spirit of Israel” is successful they can certainly count on changing how young Israelis see science and how others see Israel. They may also change how we all see the universe.
Daniel Freedman is the director of strategy and policy analysis at The Soufan Group, a strategic consultancy. His writings can be found at www.dfreedman.org. He writes a fortnightly column for Forbes.com.
my grandma said she was too… but she was on Chemotherapy.
Mazlan Othman, the head of the UN’s little-known Office for Outer Space Affairs (Unoosa), is to describe her potential new role next week at a scientific conference at the Royal Society’s Kavli conference centre in Buckinghamshire.
She is scheduled to tell delegates that the recent discovery of hundreds of planets around other stars has made the detection of extraterrestrial life more likely than ever before – and that means the UN must be ready to coordinate humanity’s response to any “first contact”.
During a talk Othman gave recently to fellow scientists, she said: “The continued search for extraterrestrial communication, by several entities, sustains the hope that some day humankind will receive signals from extraterrestrials.”
When we do, we should have in place a coordinated response that takes into account all the sensitivities related to the subject. The UN is a ready-made mechanism for such coordination.”
Pigs in Space?