Welcome to ...

The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Daily Drift

Good Times ...

Some of our readers today have been in:
George Town, Malaysia
Belgrade, Srbia
Cape Town, South Africa
Mandaluyong City, Philippines
Johannesburg, South Africa
Pasig, Philippines
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Ajman, United Arab Emirates
Warsaw, Poland
Belize City, Belize
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Ilesa, Nigeria
Manila, Philippines
Dhaka, Bangladesh

Today in History

363   Roman Emperor Julian dies, ending the Pagan Revival.
1743   English King George defeats the French at Dettingen, Bavaria.
1833   Prudence Crandall, a white woman, is arrested for conducting an academy for black women in Canterbury, Conn.
1862   Confederates break through the Union lines at the Battle of Gaines' Mill–the third engagement of the Seven Days' campaign.
1864   General Sherman is repulsed by Confederates at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain.
1871   The yen becomes the new form of currency in Japan.
1905   The crew of the Russian battleship Potemkin mutinies.
1918   Two German pilots are saved by parachutes for the first time.
1923   Yugoslav Premier Nikola Pachitch is wounded by Serb attackers in Belgrade.
1924   Democrats offer Mrs. Leroy Springs the vice presidential nomination, the first woman considered for the job.
1927   The U.S. Marines adopt the English bulldog as their mascot.
1929   Scientists at Bell Laboratories in New York reveal a system for transmitting television pictures.
1942   The Allied convoy PQ-17 leaves Iceland for Murmansk and Archangel.
1944   Allied forces capture the port city of Cherbourg, France.
1950   The UN Security Council calls on members for troops to aid South Korea.
1963   Henry Cabot Lodge is appointed U.S. ambassador to South Vietnam.
1973   President Richard Nixon vetoes a Senate ban on the Cambodia bombing.
1985   The U.S. House of Representatives votes to limit the use of combat troops in Nicaragua.

Governing Iraq is nice work ...

... if you can avoid it
Iraq's government, already infamous for its lethargy and red tape that has snarled national progress, may soon shut down for much of the summertime.

Remember ...

Mitt Romney less popular than the shrub

We didn't think it was possible but ... 

A new MSNBC/WSJ poll shows only 9% of people have a "very positive" feeling about Mitt Romney.  Less than the shrub, and far less than President Barack Obama.

Socialism isn't what we have - and it's not what repugicans want you to believe it is.

The Banksters ...

... and how they are scamming our country out of its future.
... the defendants in the case – Dominick Carollo, Steven Goldberg and Peter Grimm – worked for GE Capital, the finance arm of General Electric. along with virtually every major bank and finance company on wall street – not just GE, but J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, UBS, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Wachovia and more – these three wall street wiseguys spent the past decade taking part in a breathtakingly broad scheme to skim billions of dollars from the coffers of cities and small towns across America. The banks achieved this gigantic rip-off by secretly colluding to rig the public bids on municipal bonds, a business worth $3.7 trillion. by conspiring to lower the interest rates that towns earn on these investments, the banks systematically stole from schools, hospitals, libraries and nursing homes – from "virtually every state, district and territory in the united states," according to one settlement. And they did it so cleverly that the victims never even knew they were being ­cheated. no thumbs were broken, and nobody ended up in a landfill in New Jersey, but money disappeared, lots and lots of it, and its manner of disappearance had a familiar name: organized crime.- More

Supreme Indecision

Supreme Court leaves Arizona "papers please" provision, strikes down other sections of Immigration Law

Early news in what promises to be a supremely courtly week.

Arizona's immigration law has been struck down, but the provision that allows a check of citizenship at roadside police stops has been left standing (for now).

Early report from USA Today:
The Supreme Court today struck down most of Arizona's controversial law aimed at cracking down on illegal immigrants.

The court left standing only the "check your papers" part of the law that requires state and local police to perform roadside immigration checks of people they've stopped or detained if a "reasonable suspicion" exists that they are in the country illegally.

The court indicated, however, that even that section could face further legal challenges.
The parts of the law that were reversed are those that:
Make it a state crime for illegal immigrants not to possess their federal registration cards;

Make it a crime for illegal imigrants to work, apply for work or solicit work;

Allow state and local police to arrest illegal immigrants without a warrant when probable cause exists that they committed "any public offense that makes the person removable from the United States."
Justice Kagan did not take part in the ruling.

CBS News offers this comment:
Rather than focusing on the law's potential to create racial discrimination, the U.S. government challenged the law in court based on the concept of federal supremacy. Immigration regulation, the federal government argued, should be in the hands of the federal government, not the states.
More as it develops. Get ready.

Corporate campaign spending limits rejected
The Supreme Court on Monday reaffirmed its 2-year-old decision allowing corporations to spend freely to influence elections.

The Health insurance lobby throws over $100m at defeating Healthcare Reform

It's really hard to imagine what part of "here are millions of new customers for you" they don't like, but that's where we are today. Most of us on the left wanted the public option, which the private health insurers hated, but giving in to their needs wasn't enough.
But no, heaven forbid the health insurance industry is asked to give a little with the windfall. Millions of new customers and no competition from the public option wasn't enough money for the bloated and spoiled industry that keeps setting record profits.

So who is more spoiled and thankless between the bankers and the health insurance brats?
According to the National Journal’s Influence Alley, at the very same time the American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP)—the health insurance industry super lobby—was cutting a deal with the White House leading to its stated support of the proposed Obamacare legislation, they were secretly funneling huge amounts money to the Chamber of Commerce to be spent on advertising designed to convince the public that the legislation should be defeated.

How much money?

A stunning $102.4 million spent over just 15 months.
The brilliant Rahm Emanuel sure did a great job of bargaining, didn't he? If there is a next time with health care reform, he needs to stay far away from it and the public option has to be there so that consumers get some competition. If that industry can't show any appreciation, there's no reason to show mercy in the future.

EU court ruling: If you get sick during vacation, those days don't count against vacation

Compared to the US where there aren't even minimum vacation days on the books, this is amazing. NY Times:
For most Europeans, almost nothing is more prized than their four to six weeks of guaranteed annual vacation leave. But it was not clear just how sacrosanct that time off was until Thursday, when Europe’s highest court ruled that workers who happened to get sick on vacation were legally entitled to take another vacation.

“The purpose of entitlement to paid annual leave is to enable the worker to rest and enjoy a period of relaxation and leisure,” the Court of Justice of the European Union, based in Luxembourg, ruled in a case involving department store workers in Spain. “The purpose of entitlement to sick leave is different, since it enables a worker to recover from an illness that has caused him to be unfit for work.”

Awesome Pictures

Daily Funny

Physical examDuring my yearly physical examination, my doctor asked me about my physical activity level.
I described a typical day this way:
“Well, yesterday afternoon, I took a five hour walk through some pretty rough terrain.
I waded along the edge of a lake.
I pushed my way through brambles.
I got sand in my shoes and my eyes.
I climbed several rocky hills.
I took a few ‘leaks’ behind some big trees.
The mental stress of it all left me shattered.
At the end of it all I drank a bottle of wine”.
Inspired by the story, the doctor said, “You must be one hell of an outdoors person!”
“No,” I replied, “I’m just a terrible golfer”.

TSA spills cremated remains then laughs at man frantically sweeping up grandpa's bone fragments

There's your TSA at work. Thoughtful, compassionate and following the rules.
"They opened up my bag, and I told them, 'Please, be careful. These are my grandpa's ashes,'" Gross told RTV6's Norman Cox. "She picked up the jar. She opened it up....

She used her finger and was sifting through it. And then she accidentally spilled it."

Gross says about a quarter to a third of the contents spilled on the floor, leaving him frantically trying to gather up as much as he could while anxious passengers waited behind him.

"She didn't apologize. She started laughing. I was on my hands and knees picking up bone fragments."

Elder fraud

One couple's losses and hard lessons
With their elderly parents seated across the octagonal oak table, Donna and Jim Parker were back in the kitchen they knew so well - the hutch along one wall crammed with plates, bells and salt-and-pepper shakers picked up during family trips; at the table's corner, the spindly wooden high chair where a 7-year-old Jim had tearfully confessed to ... 

The Good News About Growing Old

You know what they say -don’t complain about getting old because it beats NOT getting old! But there are some advantages. While some mental capabilities diminish, others get better. And the wisdom of age comes in handy in social situations.
For a 2010 study, researchers at the University of Michigan presented “Dear Abby” letters to 200 people and asked what advice they would give. Subjects in their 60s were better than younger ones at imagining different points of view, thinking of multiple resolutions and suggesting compromises.
It turns out that managing emotions is a skill in itself, one that takes many of us decades to master.
And what’s even better, people over 50 tend to be happier. Read a roundup of recent research on aging at Smithsonian.

Century-old Lens Still Making Pictures

What's so special about the photo above? Photographer Timur Civan snapped that photo using a modern digital camera with a vintage 104-year-old Wollensak lens.
Back in 2010, Timur wrote:
He found in a box of random parts, hidden inside anther lens this gem. A circa 1908 ( possibly earlier) 35mm lens. Still functioning, mostly brass, and not nearly as much dust or fungus as one would think after sitting in a box for over a hundred years. This lens is a piece of motion picture history, and at this point rare beyond words. So i say to him, "Wow... what do you have in mind?" he smiles, and says, ( in the thickest russian accent you can imagine) " i can make this fit EF you know..." my eye twinkled, and then 6 nail biting hours later,he had it finished. My Russian Lens technician is a mad scientist and he took what sounded like an angle grinder to the lens to make its clear the flange distance and the mirror....... This lens' value is unclear. its sort of on loan. It's the only lens of its kind on a 5D... or any digital for that matter.

Those Crazy Addams'


Fifteen Enchanting Red Windows From Around The World

There's a reason we use red to highlight objects we need people to notice - whether they're fire hydrants, stop signs, or warning flags at the beach. No color screams for attention like red, and of all the primary colors, it's certainly the most striking. It's virtually impossible to paint something red without making a statement - as these gorgeous, fiery-hued windows prove.

Odds and Ends

Palestinians push Nativity church as Heritage site

Man swipes Dali painting from gallery
A thief who swiped a Salvador Dali painting off the wall of a New York art gallery may have escaped, but experts say the painting will likely be recovered when it comes back onto the art market.

Malaysia court: Give Iranian bomb suspect to Thais
A Malaysian court ruled Monday that an Iranian man accused of plotting to attack Israeli targets in Bangkok must be extradited to Thailand.

Clashes erupt in Indian Kashmir after shrine fire
A fire destroyed a revered Muslim shrine in India's portion of Kashmir on Monday, prompting anti-government protests by residents angered over what they said was a slow response by firefighters.

An Eye on the Next Financial Crisis
"There is definitely going to be another financial crisis around the corner," says hedge fund legend Mark Mobius, "because we haven't solved any of the things that caused the previous crisis." We're raising our alert status for the next financial crisis.

Museum unveils artist's big rock work
The rock was the star as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art pulled the covers off artist Michael Heizer's latest creation - a 340-ton boulder positioned to appear as though it's floating in midair.

The seat of death: Reporter left sitting near dead body on flight
'I've been through a lot, I've changed': Corrie actress Jane Danson talks about growing up with her character Leanne 'I'm so disillusioned with men and I never get chatted up': Corrie maneater Catherine Tyldesley is unlucky in love Please fasten your seatbelt sir? Man dies on flight leaving fellow passenger sitting next to him for 4,500 miles ... (more)
2 women in their 80s parachute for Ohio charity
In this Saturday, June 23, 2012, photo provided by Sgt. 1st Class Marc Owens, 83-year-old Marjorie Bryan makes a tandem jump with retired Sgt. ...

NH post office cuts hours to just 30 minutes a day
The hours at the post office in Sugar Hill have recently been cut back to 30 minutes a day, down from a few hours.

Video captures 2 black bears wrestling on Florida lawn
A video shows two black bears wrestling on the front lawn of a Florida home - but residents say they don't want the animals forced to live somewhere else.

Duct tape prom dress could win Kansas teen $5,000
A Kansas teen has earned a spot as a finalist in a national design competition with a prom dress made entirely from duct tape.

Mom arrested after 'trying to sell baby'
A mother in Dallas has been arrested after she allegedly tried to sell her baby boy in a classified ad for US$4,000. Megan Heichelbeck saw the ad and decided to adopt the baby, but then had second thoughts and reported the advertisement to the police, the Daily Mail reports.

Strange SC primary season limps to finish
The primary season likely limps to an end in South Carolina on Tuesday with runoffs in two congressional races, three legislative races and a handful of county contests.

Mother of girl found in barricaded closet is charged with child abuse
In an apartment that reeked of urine, a Kansas City police officer called out.“Is anyone in here?”
Neighbors had said not a soul was home.

Librarian Skimmed $163K in Fines

A convicted Yonkers, NY librarian managed to rake in $163,582 by skimming late fee fines. Read more

From the Newswire

Scientists in the ArcticSir Paul on Arctic: 'Let it be'

Greenpeace is launching a campaign backed by stars like Sir Paul McCartney to have the Arctic region declared a sanctuary by the United Nations.

Magnetised emulsion'Magnetic emulsions' clean up oil

Researchers demonstrate "emulsions" that respond to magnetic fields in an advance that could revolutionise the cleanup of oil spills.

Also in the News

The truth hurts

School kids taught Nessie is real

School kids taught Nessie is real
Children in US wingnut schools are being taught the Loch Ness monster is real, and its existence disproves Darwin's theory of evolution.
The pupils attend privately run, fundamentalist christian schools which teach creationism – the idea that the entire universe was a creation of god's will – rather than the scientifically accepted theory of evolution.
Other claims in the book include the belief that dinosaurs were fire breathing dragons, and that a Japanese whaling boat once caught a dinosaur.
The bizarre claim in the schools' textbooks stems from a desire to explain the millions of years Earth existed that the bible doesn't account for if a literal interpretation of the bible is applied.
The schools believe that if it can be proved that man once walked the Earth with dinosaurs, then Darwin's theory of evolution will be disproved.
The books, produced by accelerated christian education, read more like a children's fantasy novel than a school textbook.
"Have you heard of the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland?" the book asks, "'Nessie' for short has been recorded on sonar from a small submarine, described by eyewitnesses, and photographed by others. Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur."
The revelations about what kids are being taught have sparked anger across the US, especially because the classes are partly publicly funded.
Bruce Wilson, a professor who specializes in the US wingnuts, says these teachings are typical of christian fundamentalism.
"One of these texts from Bob Jones University Press claims that dinosaurs were fire-breathing dragons. It has little to do with science as we currently understand. It's more like medieval scholasticism," The told The Scotsman.
"The majority of parents now home schooling their kids are christian fundamentalists too. I don't believe they should be publicly funded, I don't believe the schools who use these texts should be publicly funded."
Jonny Scaramanga, a former student who now spends his time speaking out against fundamentalism says teachers re-write history to suit their religious beliefs.
"The reason for that is they’re saying if Noah's flood only happened 4,000 years ago, which they believe literally happened, then possibly a sea monster survived.
"If it was millions of years ago then that would be ridiculous. That's their logic. It's a common thing among creationists to believe in sea monsters."
What is it they say on The Big Bang Theory - oh, yeah - He's whack-a-doodle ... except in this case 'they' are all whack-a-doodle!

The Tyrant of Clipperton Island

Clipperton Island is an abandoned atoll in the Pacific Ocean, 1,000 kilometers from the coast of Mexico. Its history is one of being passed from nation to nation as its value was explored and judged inadequate. Around 1910, Mexico sent 13 soldiers to guard the island. They were joined by their wives and some servants, and soon children were born. Another island resident was a reclusive lighthouse keeper named Victoriano Álvarez. Then in 1914, supply ships stopped coming. Malnutrition set in, and the men were the first to die. After an escape attempt cost three men their lives, only two soldiers remained, along with the women and children. And the lighthouse keeper.
Just then, Álvarez the hitherto-unassuming lighthouse-keeper abruptly arrived at the destroyed settlement, collected the weapons, and threw them into the deep waters of the lagoon. Saving one rifle for himself, he announced to the women and children that he was now the king of the island. With that, he began a campaign of enslaving the women for whatever purposes he desired. One mother-daughter pair who refused to obey him were raped and shot to death. The rest were given regular beatings at the minimum.
Two years later, in 1917, an American ship found the survivors: three women and eight malnourished children. They were taken to Mexico to be reunited with relatives who had given up all hope. The survivors told the story of what happened on the island, but the crew of the rescue ship kept the details secret for seventeen years, lest the women face legal consequences. But you can read the whole thing at Damn Interesting.

Random Photo


 Black and white sensual fashion photography by Evgeniya Rudaya

Khao Luang cave temple

Khao Luang cave temple, Phetchaburi, Thailand

Almost mythical path... Travel+Leisure has one incredible gallery of this incredible place, by the photographer Craig Ferguson:

Venezuelan tribe angry at "sacred" stone in Berlin

By Stephen Brown
Wolfgang von Schwarzenfeld's sculptures in a Berlin park were meant to promote world peace, but the 79-year-old German now finds himself at war with a Venezuelan tribe which accuses him of stealing a sacred pink stone known to them as "Grandmother".
The Venezuelan government is championing the Pemon Indians of the "Gran Sabana" region by demanding the return of the polished stone from Berlin's Tiergarten park - putting the German government in something of a dilemma.
With Caracas calling it robbery, and the sculptor arguing that the stone was a legal gift, the monolith is emitting more negative energy than its esoteric fans in Berlin are used to.
Blissfully unaware of the diplomatic tug-of-war, Robert, a Berlin gardener, got off his bicycle to light joss sticks among the stones from five continents that form the "Global Stone Project", awaiting friends for an afternoon shamanic ritual.
But newly arrived Venezuelan tourists Grecia Melendez and Juan Carlos Brozoski knew all about the war of the stone and suspected there were political motives behind the protests.
"(President Hugo) Chavez always wants a conflict with someone," said 32-year-old Melendez, taking photos of the 12 cubic meter stone, which is engraved with the word "love" in different languages - and graffiti with couples' names and hearts.
Von Schwarzenfeld, a frail figure with whispy white hair and scuffed brown shoes, waved a sheaf of documents authorizing the removal of the stone from the Canaima National Park in 1998.
As with all the stones arranged in a circle in Berlin, a "sister" stone remained behind. Every summer solstice, their burnished surfaces reflect the sun "as a symbol of a united mankind, hopefully one day in peace", he said.
The project was inaugurated in 1999 near Berlin's landmark Potsdamer Platz and Brandenburg Gate. As children played among the stones, Von Schwarzenfeld defied Venezuela to take back what he called a "gift to Berlin" from former president Rafael Caldera.
"Peace for me does not mean the absence of conflict," said the artist, undeterred by threats and what he too suspects are "political motivations" behind the tussle over the stone.
A video circulated on Youtube has mobilized public opinion in Venezuela, recounting the mythical origins of the Kueka (grandmother in the Pemon language) and its pair, and voicing locals' sense of loss.
"This man decided to take the Kueka without caring about its cultural value for the Pemon community," Venezuelan activist and ecologist Any Alarcon says in the video.
Culture Minister Pedro Calzadilla told state television the donation was "illegitimate" because the stone was part of "the cultural patrimony of the (Pemon) community". Prosecutors are looking into the stone's removal because "whoever authorized the removal of the Grandmother committed a crime", he said.
After Pemon tribespeople demonstrated outside Germany's embassy last week with spears, feather headdresses and banners saying "The Pemon People Want Our Wise Grandmother Back", the German envoy promised to relay their feelings to Berlin, while telling them it would be no easy task to return the stone.
German Foreign ministry spokesman Andreas Peschke said Berlin wanted a solution "agreed by all sides - Venezuela, the indigenous groups, the artist and the city of Berlin".
Von Schwarzenfeld was not convinced, saying the stone's removal would sacrifice "the 15 years of my life and all the money I spent. If it is taken away, it ruins the whole project."
Beside him stood German anthropologist Bruno Illius, who has studied the Pemon tribe for two decades. He said there was "no such thing as a 'holy stone' for the Pemones, just small magical stones with practical purposes, like helping you to catch fish".
Illius rubbished stories about the stone's removal bringing misfortune on the tribe, like drought and the disappearance of the ants they eat in spicy sauce, saying he had eaten plenty of ants on three visits to the region, as recently as last year.
"This is all a fraud, a deception," the professor said.

Native American genes found in Icelanders

This is significant because it would indicate not just transatlantic contact with North America, but migration or mating in the preColumbian era.
Although most mtDNA lineages observed in contemporary Icelanders can be traced to neighboring populations in the British Isles and Scandinavia, one may have a more distant origin. This lineage belongs to haplogroup C1, one of a handful that was involved in the settlement of the Americas around 14,000 years ago. Contrary to an initial assumption that this lineage was a recent arrival, preliminary genealogical analyses revealed that the C1 lineage was present in the Icelandic mtDNA pool at least 300 years ago. This raised the intriguing possibility that the Icelandic C1 lineage could be traced to Viking voyages to the Americas that commenced in the 10th century...

If the Greenland and ancient European hypotheses are rejected, what we have is a woman who entered the Icelandic society from an extinct lineage of Native Americans, probably from the northeast (or perhaps her Greenland Norse mother was of this line). What the Norse would have termed Markland. It is tempting to point to the Norse settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland. Perhaps the Europeans had enslaved a native woman, and taken her back to their homeland when they decamped? But more likely to me is the probability that the Norse brought back more than lumber from Markland, since their voyages spanned centuries.

Finally, does this explain Björk? I doubt it...
Original publication in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology in 2010.

Thirty Year Treasure Hunt Ends With Discovery Of Celtic Gold

Treasure hunters Reg Mead and Richard Miles struck gold, and silver, recently when their 30 year long quest for buried treasure on the island of Jersey, which is off the coast of Normandy.
Here’s more info on the treasure they discovered:
The treasure was inside a large block of clay. It contains 30,000 to 50,000 silver and gold Celtic coins dating from the 1st Century BC. The coins—which could have been buried to prevent Roman troops from getting them during Julius Caesar’s invasion of the British Islands—come from Armorica. They have been buried for more than 2,000 years. According to numismatic experts, each coin is worth 100 to 200 British Pounds ($156 to $311).
The treasure is now on display at the Jersey Heritage Museum, where the curator will surely use it to fill a kiddie pool and dive in like Scrooge McDuck!

Rome Icon Actually Younger Than the City

Rome Icon Actually Younger Than the City
The finding about the bronze statue of a she-wolf nursing two humans quashes the belief that the sculpture was adopted by the earliest Romans as a symbol for their city.  

Ancient Roman road found in Greece

Ancient Roman road found in Greece
Archaeologists in Greece's second-largest city have uncovered a 70-metre section of an ancient road built by the Romans that was city's main travel artery nearly 2,000 years ago.
The marble-paved road was unearthed during excavations for Thessaloniki's new subway system, which is due to be completed in four years. The road in the northern port city will be raised to be put on permanent display when the metro opens in 2016.
The excavation site was shown to the public on Monday, when details of the permanent display project were also announced. Several of the large marble paving stones were etched with children's board games, while others were marked by horse-drawn cart wheels.
Also discovered at the site were remains of tools and lamps, as well as the bases of marble columns.
Viki Tzanakouli, an archaeologist working on the project, told The Associated Press the Roman road was about 1,800 years-old, while remains of an older road built by the ancient Greeks 500 years earlier were found underneath it.
"We have found roads on top of each other, revealing the city's history over the centuries," Tzanakouli said. "The ancient road, and side roads perpendicular to it appear to closely follow modern roads in the city today."
About seven metres below ground in the center of the city, the ancient road follows in roughly the same direction as the city's modern Egnatia Avenue.
The subway works, started in 2006, present a rare opportunity for archaeologists to explore under the densely populated city - but have also caused years of delays for the project.
Archaeologists present their findings to the media.

In 2008, workers on the Thessaloniki metro discovered more than 1,000 graves, some filled with treasure. The graves were of different shapes and sizes, and some contained jewellery, coins or other pieces of art.
A massive excavation project also took place during the 1990s in the capital, Athens, before the city's new metro system opened in 2000.
Thessaloniki's new subway is already four years behind schedule, due to the excavation work as well as Greece's financial crisis. Thirteen stations will operate initially, before a 10-station extension is added later.

The truth be told

Celestial Lights

Celestial Lights is an absolutely gorgeous stop motion video clip by Ole C. Salomonsen of Arctic Light Photo about the northern lights. Ole filmed the video in the northern parts of Norway, Finland and Sweden in Fall 2011 and Winter and Spring 2012.
It is best viewed at full width  CN doesn't do it justice, head on over to Vimeo to see it in its full glory: here

NASA finds ice on the Moon

NASA finds ice on the Moon
The team of NASA and university scientists using laser light from LRO’s laser altimeter examined the floor of Shackleton crater. They found the crater’s floor is brighter than those of other nearby craters, which is consistent with the presence of small amounts of ice. … The spacecraft mapped Shackleton crater with unprecedented detail, using a laser to illuminate the crater’s interior and measure its albedo or natural reflectance. The laser light measures to a depth comparable to its wavelength, or about a micron. That represents a millionth of a meter, or less than one ten-thousandth of an inch. The team also used the instrument to map the relief of the crater’s terrain based on the time it took for laser light to bounce back from the moon’s surface. The longer it took, the lower the terrain’s elevation. … The crater, named after the Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton, is two miles deep and more than 12 miles wide. Like several craters at the moon’s south pole, the small tilt of the lunar spin axis means Shackleton crater’s interior is permanently dark and therefore extremely cold.

Environmental News

Watch Deforestation from Space

Armchair environmentalist can watch the devastation of Latin America's forests as it happens via satellite images. Read more
Watch Deforestation from Space

Californication: Acid Surf

Rising levels of greenhouse gases could rapidly spell doom for west coast shellfish and fisheries. Read more
Californication:  Acid Surf

Astronomical News

SpaceX Unleashes Raw Merlin Engine Power

Can you think of a better way to start the week than to watch a test firing of an awesome new rocket engine? No, I can't either. Read more
SpaceX Unleashes Raw Merlin Engine Power

Is Jupiter a Soggy Planet?

Jupiter is prototypical of gas giant planets found elsewhere in the galaxy, but the only world where we can get details of its composition and inner workings. Read more
Is Jupiter a Soggy Planet?

Strange Night-Shining Clouds in Space Photo

Shining threads of white seem alien-like against the darkness of space in this image from the space station. Read more
night-shining clouds

See the Big Dipper in the Summer Night Sky

The celestial pattern of seven stars is one of the most prominent and recognizable in the sky. Read more
big dipper

NASA's Biggest Rocket: Thrust Would Be Useful Now

Taller and wider than the Saturn V, the Nova rocket was designed to generate 12 million pounds of thrust. Too bad it never launched. Read more
NASA's Biggest Rocket: Thrust Would Be Useful Now

Parts of Mars Interior as Wet as Earth's

The finding jives with previous discoveries that water once flowed on the planet's surface. Read more

Venus Twilight Experiment Dazzles Earthlings

On June 5, Venus transited the sun and astronomers at Lowell Observatory detected a beautiful Venusian phenomenon. Read more
Venus Twilight Experiment Dazzles Earthlings: Video

Asteroid 2012 LZ1 Just Got Supersized

Although it missed us by a few million miles, Arecibo Observatory has discovered the 500-meter wide asteroid is actually a one-kilometer wide asteroid. Read more
Asteroid 2012 LZ1 Just Got Supersized