Category: Science

Has DHS become the Nations police force?

I read this article and was both amazed and scared at the implications of what this means. If you buy into the idea that the US has become a police state. With the NSA basically wielding unconstitutional powers to spy and track ALL Americans then we can assume that DHS is indeed the nations police force.

“A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty.”—James Madison

“Here [in New Mexico], we are moving more toward a national police force. Homeland Security is involved with a lot of little things around town. Somebody in Washington needs to call a timeout.”—Dan Klein, retired Albuquerque Police Department sergeant

If the United States is a police state, then the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is its national police force, with all the brutality, ineptitude and corruption such a role implies. In fact, although the DHS’ governmental bureaucracy may at times appear to be inept and bungling, it is ruthlessly efficient when it comes to building what the Founders feared most—a standing army on American soil.

The third largest federal agency behind the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense, the DHS—with its 240,000 full-time workers, $61 billion budget and sub-agencies that include the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, Secret Service, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)—has been aptly dubbed a “runaway train.”

In the 12 years since it was established to “prevent terrorist attacks within the United States,” the DHS has grown from a post-9/11 knee-jerk reaction to a leviathan with tentacles in every aspect of American life. With good reason, a bipartisan bill to provide greater oversight and accountability into the DHS’ purchasing process has been making its way through Congress.

A better plan would be to abolish the DHS altogether. In making the case for shutting down the de facto national police agency, analyst Charles Kenny offers the following six reasons: one, the agency lacks leadership; two, terrorism is far less of a threat than it is made out to be; three, the FBI has actually stopped more alleged terrorist attacks than DHS; four, the agency wastes exorbitant amounts of money with little to show for it; five, “An overweight DHS gets a free pass to infringe civil liberties without a shred of economic justification”; and six, the agency is just plain bloated.

article on DHS

What Internet does NASA use?

Saw this interesting article on Wired today. NASA uses a different internet than us mortal citizens. NASA has download speeds of 91MB a second. We can only hope as citizens for speeds of around 2 or 3 MB a second currently.

I am posting this because I think the technology is interesting.

When Google chief financial officer Patrick Pichette said the tech giant might bring 10 gigabits per second internet connections to American homes, it seemed like science fiction. That’s about 1,000 times faster than today’s home connections. But for NASA, it’s downright slow.

While the rest of us send data across the public internet, the space agency uses a shadow network called ESnet, short for Energy Science Network, a set of private pipes that has demonstrated cross-country data transfers of 91 gigabits per second–the fastest of its type ever reported.

NASA isn’t going bring these speeds to homes, but it is using this super-fast networking technology to explore the next wave of computing applications. ESnet is a test bed where scientists can explore new ideas before setting them loose on the commercial internet, and it’s an important tool for researchers who deal in massive amounts of data generated by projects such as the Large Hadron Collider and the Human Genome Project. Rather sending hard disks back and forth through the mail, they can trade data via the ultra-fast network, which is run by the Department of Energy.

In short, ESnet a window into what our computing world will eventually look like. “Our vision for the world is that scientific discovery shouldn’t be constrained by geography,” says ESnet director Gregory Bell.

NASAs internet


The Black Knight update

I have no idea if any of this is true. It is an amazingly interesting story to me. This link provides quite a few links to various articles including a Time magazine article from 1960. The Phillip K Dick stuff with VALIS is so interesting to me. Was it just a deranged mind or did he actually see and experience what he claimed?

Comet Ison. AKA C/2012 S1

How lucky are we? Well that will be determined next year at some point. A comet ISON will be visible for much of the year and appear in the night sky potentially with a magnitude 2 or 3 times as bright as the moon. You may be able to see it in broad daylight. It will pass as well very very very close to Earth. They measure how close by something called AU (Astronomical Unit).

What exactly is a AU?

How is a comets brightness measured?

EDIT::: Feb 18th 2013

Found a interesting article on ISON.


Interesting article about Comet Ison–the-comet-of-the-century-8431443.html

edit.. a new article in Time about the comet.

Coming in 2013: The Comet of the Century?

Enjoy Science.

General Interest.. Astronomers predict a second Earth will be found in 2013

As you can tell the name of the blog is Drake Equation. If you are not familiar with the equation it basically goes something like this although I am not a Mathematician (my Father is). If the universe in infinitely big.. the odds of their not being life somewhere else is infinitely small. Or as Wikipedia says “The Drake equation is a mathematical equation used to estimate the number of detectable extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy. It is used in the field of the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (SETI). The equation was devised in 1961 by Frank Drake while at the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center.”


The main link in this post has to do with the exo planets they have located in the past few years. They have found plenty of Earth like planets the problem is there is something slightly wrong with each one they have found. Astronomers now believe they will find an exact enough replica of Earth this next year that would be able to sustain life.