Media Today


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Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Media Today
« Reply #272 on: July 24, 2022, 10:53:16 AM »
NASA’s James Webb Telescope takes First Images of the Universe



Washington, D.C. – The dawn of a new era in astronomy is here as the world gets its first look at the full capabilities of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, a partnership with ESA (European Space Agency) and CSA (Canadian Space Agency).

The full set of the telescope’s first full-color images and spectroscopic data, which uncover a collection of cosmic features elusive until now, released Tuesday, are available at:

nasa.gov/webbfirstimages

"Today, we present humanity with a groundbreaking new view of the cosmos from the James Webb Space Telescope – a view the world has never seen before,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “These images, including the deepest infrared view of our universe that has ever been taken, show us how Webb will help to uncover the answers to questions we don’t even yet know to ask; questions that will help us better understand our universe and humanity’s place within it.

“The Webb team’s incredible success is a reflection of what NASA does best. We take dreams and turn them into reality for the benefit of humanity. I can’t wait to see the discoveries that we uncover – the team is just getting started!”

NASA explores the unknown in space for the benefit of all, and Webb’s first observations tell the story of the hidden universe through every phase of cosmic history – from neighboring planets outside our solar system, known as exoplanets, to the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe.

“This is a singular and historic moment,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. “It took decades of drive and perseverance to get us here, and I am immensely proud of the Webb team. These first images show us how much we can accomplish when we come together behind a shared goal, to solve the cosmic mysteries that connect us all. It’s a stunning glimpse of the insights yet to come.”

“We are elated to celebrate this extraordinary day with the world,” said Greg Robinson, Webb program director at NASA Headquarters. “The beautiful diversity and incredible detail of the Webb telescope’s images and data will have a profound impact on our understanding of the universe and inspire us to dream big.”

Webb’s first observations were selected by a group of representatives from NASA, ESA, CSA, and the Space Telescope Science Institute. They reveal the capabilities of all four of Webb’s state-of-the-art scientific instruments:

- SMACS 0723: Webb has delivered the deepest and sharpest infrared image of the distant universe so far – and in only 12.5 hours. For a person standing on Earth looking up, the field of view for this new image, a color composite of multiple exposures each about two hours long, is approximately the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length. This deep field uses a lensing galaxy cluster to find some of the most distant galaxies ever detected. This image only scratches the surface of Webb’s capabilities in studying deep fields and tracing galaxies back to the beginning of cosmic time.

- WASP-96b (spectrum): Webb’s detailed observation of this hot, puffy planet outside our solar system reveals the clear signature of water, along with evidence of haze and clouds that previous studies of this planet did not detect. With Webb’s first detection of water in the atmosphere of an exoplanet, it will now set out to study hundreds of other systems to understand what other planetary atmospheres are made of.

- Southern Ring Nebula: This planetary nebula, an expanding cloud of gas that surrounds a dying star, is approximately 2,000 light-years away. Here, Webb’s powerful infrared eyes bring a second dying star into full view for the first time. From birth to death as a planetary nebula, Webb can explore the expelling shells of dust and gas of aging stars that may one day become a new star or planet.

- Stephan’s Quintet: Webb’s view of this compact group of galaxies, located in the constellation Pegasus, pierced through the shroud of dust surrounding the center of one galaxy to reveal the velocity and composition of the gas near its supermassive black hole. Now, scientists can get a rare look, in unprecedented detail, at how interacting galaxies are triggering star formation in each other and how the gas in these galaxies is being disturbed.

- Carina Nebula: Webb’s look at the “Cosmic Cliffs” in the Carina Nebula unveils the earliest, rapid phases of star formation that were previously hidden. Looking at this star-forming region in the southern constellation Carina, as well as others like it, Webb can see newly forming stars and study the gas and dust that made them.

"Absolutely thrilling!” said John Mather, Webb senior project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “The equipment is working perfectly, and nature is full of surprising beauty. Congratulations and thanks to our worldwide teams that made it possible.”

The release of Webb’s first images and spectra kicks off the beginning of Webb’s science operations, where astronomers around the world will have their chance to observe anything from objects within our solar system to the early universe using Webb’s four instruments.

The James Webb Space Telescope launched on December 25th, 2021, on an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, South America. After completing a complex deployment sequence in space, Webb underwent months of commissioning where its mirrors were aligned, and its instruments were calibrated to its space environment and prepared for science.

The public can also view the new Webb images Tuesday on several digital screens in New York City’s Times Square and in London’s Piccadilly Circus beginning at 4:30pm CDT and 10:30pm GMT, respectively.

The James Webb Space Telescope is the world’s premier space science observatory. Webb will solve mysteries in our solar system, look beyond to distant worlds around other stars, and probe the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it.

NASA Headquarters oversees the mission for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages Webb for the agency and oversees work on the mission performed by the Space Telescope Science Institute, Northrop Grumman, and other mission partners.

In addition to Goddard, several NASA centers contributed to the project, including the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley, and others.

For a full array of Webb’s first images and spectra, including downloadable files, visit:

https://webbtelescope.org/news/first-images

https://www.clarksvilleonline.com/2022/07/24/nasas-james-webb-telescope-takes-first-images-of-the-universe/

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Re: Media Today
« Reply #272 on: July 24, 2022, 10:53:16 AM »


Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Media Today
« Reply #273 on: July 24, 2022, 07:41:02 PM »
California's Oak wildfire rages near Yosemite as heat wave smothers America



A California wildfire ripped through thousands of acres Saturday after sparking a day earlier, as millions of Americans sweltered through scorching heat with already record-setting temperatures due to climb.

The heat wave encompassing multiple regions has increased the risk of blazes, such as the major Oak Fire, which broke out Friday in California near Yosemite National Park, where giant sequoias have already been threatened by flames in recent days.

The fire -- described as "explosive" by officials -- grew from about 600 acres to some 9,500 (3,800 hectares) within 24 hours. Concentrated in Mariposa County, it has already destroyed ten properties and damaged five others, with thousands more threatened.

More than 6,000 people had been evacuated, said Hector Vasquez, a public information officer with California's Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, as the fire remained zero percent contained as of Saturday evening.

The department said the fire's activity was "extreme."

The blaze left ashes, gutted vehicles and twisted remains of properties in its wake, as emergency personnel worked to evacuate residents and protect structures in its path.

More than 500 firefighters are working to extinguish the flames with assistance from aircraft, Vasquez said. Officials cited by the Los Angeles Times said it could take a week to contain.

"There's personnel showing up from various departments all over the state to help control this fire," Vasquez told AFP, saying the situation remained "really challenging."

Climate scientist Daniel Swain tweeted that the fire was "exhibiting consistently extreme behavior," while stunned social media users posted images of billowing plumes of smoke that reached thousands of feet into the air.

In recent years, California and other parts of the western United States have been ravaged by huge, hot and fast-moving wildfires, driven by years of drought and a warming climate.

Drought and high temperatures have been "not in our favor," Vasquez said.

Record-breaking heat

Evidence of global warming could be seen elsewhere in the country, as more than a dozen states were under a heat advisory.

The central and northeast US regions face the brunt of the extreme temperatures, which are not expected to peak until Sunday at the earliest and have sent public health officials scrambling.

"From the southern Plains into the East, it will feel extremely oppressive," the National Weather Service (NWS) said Saturday evening, warning as well of possible severe storms.

Central US metropolitan areas such as Dallas and Oklahoma City were expected to reach highs of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (above 38 degrees Celsius) for at least the next five days.

A heat emergency is in effect for cities up and down the northeast coast, from Boston to Philadelphia to Washington.

Not even the usually cool Pacific Northwest will escape the far-reaching heat, with the region expected to face several days in the 90s next week.

The high temperatures have already caused an uptick in emergency calls for heat-related illness.

Cities have, meanwhile, been forced to open cooling stations and increase outreach to at-risk communities such as the homeless and those without access to air conditioning.

"This is really one of the things that we recognize in Oklahoma -- heat is the number one weather-related killer across the United States. It far surpasses any other" nature-related cause of death, Joseph Kralicek, director of the Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency, told CNN.

Residents of the central US city were expecting temperatures to reach 103F (39C) Saturday and up to 106F (41C) on Sunday and Monday.

The nation's capital Washington reached temperatures near 100F (38C) on Saturday, and was expected to reach or surpass that level on Sunday for the first time in years.

New York was not far behind.

"Look for daytime max temps to eclipse the century mark in the Central Plains and record breaking high temps from the Central Plains to the Northeast today," the NWS said in a forecast.

"Sunday grows even hotter in the northeast," it added.

Severe thunderstorms are expected in the Midwest Saturday, with the potential for damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes, the NWS said.

Various regions of the globe have been hit by extreme heat waves in recent months, such as Western Europe in July and India in March to April, incidents that scientists say are an unmistakable sign of a warming climate.

© Agence France-Presse

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Media Today
« Reply #274 on: July 25, 2022, 10:13:45 AM »
Climate crisis pushes migratory monarch butterflies onto endangered list



The International Union for Conservation of Nature on Thursday formally listed the beloved migratory monarch butterfly as endangered, citing dire threats to the subspecies posed by the climate crisis, deforestation, pesticide use, and logging.

Dr. Bruno Oberle, the director-general of IUCN—the world's leading scientific authority on species conservation—said the new listing "highlights the fragility of nature's wonders, such as the unique spectacle of monarch butterflies migrating across thousands of kilometers," a reference to the insects' remarkable biannual journey across North America.

"To preserve the rich diversity of nature, we need effective, fairly governed protected and conserved areas, alongside decisive action to tackle climate change and restore ecosystems," Oberle added. "In turn, conserving biodiversity supports communities by providing essential services such as food, water, and sustainable jobs."

The population of monarch butterflies in North America has been falling rapidly in recent years, a decline largely unabated by government action to protect the imperiled insects or to fight the climate crisis that is pushing them to the brink of extinction.

Echoing recent research attributing the monarch butterfly's decline to the climate emergency, IUCN notes that "climate change has significantly impacted the migratory monarch butterfly and is a fast-growing threat; drought limits the growth of milkweed and increases the frequency of catastrophic wildfires, temperature extremes trigger earlier migrations before milkweed is available, while severe weather has killed millions of butterflies."

"The western population is at greatest risk of extinction, having declined by an estimated 99.9%, from as many as 10 million to 1,914 butterflies between the 1980s and 2021," the organization observed. "The larger eastern population also shrunk by 84% from 1996 to 2014. Concern remains as to whether enough butterflies survive to maintain the populations and prevent extinction."

Additionally, IUCN stressed that "legal and illegal logging and deforestation to make space for agriculture and urban development" have also "destroyed substantial areas of the butterflies' winter shelter in Mexico and California, while pesticides and herbicides used in intensive agriculture across the range kill butterflies and milkweed, the host plant that the larvae of the monarch butterfly feed on."

Anna Walker, a member of the IUCN SSC Butterfly and Moth Specialist Group, said Thursday that while "it is difficult to watch monarch butterflies and their extraordinary migration teeter on the edge of collapse... there are signs of hope."

"So many people and organizations have come together to try and protect this butterfly and its habitats," said Walker, who spearheaded the monarch butterfly assessment. "From planting native milkweed and reducing pesticide use to supporting the protection of overwintering sites and contributing to community science, we all have a role to play in making sure this iconic insect makes a full recovery."

AFP

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Re: Media Today
« Reply #274 on: July 25, 2022, 10:13:45 AM »


Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Media Today
« Reply #275 on: July 26, 2022, 07:09:50 AM »
Why shark encounters are increasing along the US East Coast



Sun lotion, insect repellant, and the Sharktivity app are this summer's must-have beach accessories along the US East Coast as human-shark encounters increase.

Ironically, conservation wins for vulnerable species might be behind the unfortunate uptick, say experts, while there might also be a link to climate as the apex predators' prey move to new waters.

Every summer, great whites move up the Atlantic coast of the United States, toward New England, their number peaking between August and October.

"There's a general increase in the population that we think is the population rebounding after being protected," Gregory Skomal, a senior fisheries scientist for the state of Massachusetts, told AFP.

with roughly a hundred or so passing through the waters around Cape Cod every year.

The iconic movie "Jaws" was shot in this region, and the creatures are a major tourism draw, adorning baseball caps and t-shirts. On the flipside, however, there have already been temporary beach closures this year after confirmed sightings close to shore.

A major part of the reason is their main prey, seals, are also rebounding thanks to increased protections.

"If you have more sharks feeding close to land and you have more people swimming, the chances for those kinds of negative interactions increases," said Skomal.

Enter the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy Sharktivity app, which was developed with input from Massachusetts wildlife officials to provide information on shark sightings from researchers, safety officials, and user reports.

Surveillance patrols

In New York state, the governor has just announced additional surveillance patrols, including via drones and helicopters.

On the tourist beaches of Long Island, half a dozen shark bites have already come to light, after three years of none at all.

Here, great whites are less likely to be the culprits than other species of shark that operate in the region, in particular tiger sharks, sand tiger sharks and bull sharks.

Nick Whitney, a senior scientist at the New England Aquarium, believes the increasing encounters here might be linked to the sharks' bait fish -- menhaden, also known as porgies or bunkers, recovering.

This might be because of cleaner waters off New York and New Jersey, "but it's tricky to figure out how much of it is increasing populations or just populations moving around as a result of changing ocean conditions from climate change."

But if things can thus vary greatly from one year to another on a local level, the global level remains steady at around 75 shark attacks recorded each year, said Gavin Naylor, director of a research program on sharks at the University of Florida.

This follows a brief drop to around 60 during the two first years of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Annual global deaths are around five. In the past twenty years, only two deaths have been reported north of Delaware in the United States, in Cape Cod in 2018, and in Maine in 2020.

But in the future, it is reasonable to think that the number of victims will increase.

"We are going to get more fatalities. There's more white sharks, the probability is going to increase," predicts Naylor, even though the trend isn't yet statistically significant.

Surfers, who venture farther into the water, accounted for half of unprovoked attacks in 2021. Farther south, Florida, with its many tourist beaches and tropical climate, is still where 60 percent of US and 40 percent of world attacks occur.

Take precautions

Sharks are far from the bloodthirsty beasts sometimes portrayed in movies.

Studies have shown that they can mistake surfers or swimmers for their usual prey -- notably white sharks, which have rather poor eyesight.

"With so many people on a global scale in the water, if sharks preferred to feed on prey upon humans, we would have tens of thousands of attacks each year," said Skomal.

With climate change, the expert expects that the increase in ocean temperatures will gradually lengthen the season during which sharks are present in the northern United States.

So what can be done to limit the risks? People should download the Sharktivity app to track sightings.

"Another thing we tell people is just to be aware of your surroundings," said Whitney. Look around for birds flying around schools of baitfish, for example.

Don't swim alone, stick to areas with cell phone coverage, and if bitten, the real danger is bleeding out, so it's important to get to shore and control the bleeding until help arrives.

AFP

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Media Today
« Reply #276 on: July 26, 2022, 07:18:15 AM »
Joe Rogan torches Marco Rubio and other Republicans for going after gay marriage



Controversial podcaster Joe Rogan issued a powerful defense of marriage equality and admonished the Republican Party's assaults on civil liberties during Saturday's edition of The Joe Rogan Experience.

Silhouetted in a haze of smoke, Rogan and his guest, comedian Andrew Schulz, lamented the right-wing's cultural crusades.

"It's not just abortion rights, now they're going after gay marriage too, which is so strange to me, that people like [United States Senator] Marco Rubio [R-Florida] was saying that it was like a silly thing to argue about, to be concerned about. And then some other Senator, who is a gay woman, confronted him. She was furious at him," Rogan said in reference to Minnesota Democrat Tammy Baldwin.

"Gay marriage is not silly. It's marriage," Rogan continued. "It's marriage for people that are homosexual and for them it's important. They want to affirm their love and their relationship, and the fact that they're going after that now almost makes me feel like they want us to fight. They want to divide us in the best way they can and this is the best way for them to keep pulling off all the bullspombleprofglidnoctobuns they're doing behind the scenes is to get us to fight over things like gay marriage or get us to fight over things like abortion."

Schulz responded with an emphatic, 'yes! Yes!"

Rogan tried to pivot to the issue of gun rights but Schulz pulled him back into the initial topic.

"If you're gonna say that marriage is an important cultural institution to the fabric of America, you can't remove it from Americans. You can't go and say, 'this is important, this is what we do, we create a family, we love one another, this is how we express our love' and then say, 'ah these Americans, they can't do that s**t,'" Schulz said.

"It's so homophobic because you're saying there's something wrong with being homosexual," Rogan continued. "By saying you are opposed to gay marriage, you're saying you're opposed to gay people. Because if gay people are in love with each other and they want to have a celebration and they want to be legally bonded and connected – and there's all sorts of benefits to that in terms of financial benefits, taxes – but not only that. If your loved one is in the hospital, you have access to them. And you're the only one who has access to them cause you're their spouse. You're the one who has power of attorney if they're incapacitated. There's a lot to affirming that relationship and the fact that they're going after that now, like, that's the kinda s**t that keeps me from becoming a Republican."

Watch below:

https://twitter.com/i/status/1551581634079518720

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Media Today
« Reply #277 on: July 26, 2022, 07:25:32 AM »
Kate Moss speaks out about testifying in Johnny Depp's defamation trial: 'I know the truth'

The supermodel testified on behalf of her ex-boyfriend during his trial against Amber Heard, denying rumors that he shoved her down a flight of stairs.



Kate Moss opened up about what emboldened her to testify on behalf of ex-boyfriend Johnny Depp during his highly publicized defamation trial against Amber Heard.

The British supermodel, who is notoriously private and rarely gives public interviews, testified as a rebuttal witness on behalf of Depp back in May to deny rumors that he shoved her down a flight of stairs. During a recent interview with BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, Moss said she felt compelled to speak the truth when asked why she participated in the trial.

She referenced her fashion designer friend John Galliano, the former Dior designer found guilty of anti-Semitic abuse in 2011 after he hurled public insults at a bar in Paris, when asked about Depp and Heard's trial. "I believe in the truth, and I believe in fairness and justice," Moss said. "I know that John Galliano is not a bad person. He had an alcohol problem and people turn."

"People aren't themselves when they drink, and they say things that they would never say if they were sober," she continued, adding, "I know the truth about Johnny. I know he never kicked me down the stairs. I had to say that truth."

Heard accused Depp of physical, verbal, and sexual assault during the course of the trial, telling jurors that her ex-husband often became volatile while under the influence of alcohol and drugs. During her testimony, she insinuated that Depp once pushed Moss down a flight of stairs while recounting the first time she struck Depp, citing self defense.

"I just instantly think of Kate Moss and the stairs, and I swung at him," Heard testified. "In all my relationships to date, I hadn't [delivered] a blow. For the first time, I hit him square in the face." The reference paved the way for Moss to be called as a witness. In a video deposition, Moss, who dated Depp between 1994 and 1998, testified that Depp "never pushed me, kicked me, or threw me down any stairs."

The incident in question occurred while the two vacationed in Jamaica: "We were leaving the room, and Johnny left the room before I did," Moss testified. "There had been a rainstorm. As I left the room, I slid down the stairs and I hurt my back and I screamed because I didn't know what happened to me and I was in pain. He came running back to help me and carried me to my room and got me medical attention."

A jury in Fairfax County, Va., ruled in June that Heard intentionally and maliciously defamed Depp when she wrote her 2018 Washington Post op-ed detailing her experiences as a domestic violence survivor. Depp was awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages (the judge later reduced the punitive damages to Virginia's statutory cap of $350,000). Heard earned a small countersuit victory of $2 million in compensatory damages.

Heard's team filed a motion to appeal the verdict last week. "We believe the court made errors that prevented a just and fair verdict consistent with the First Amendment," a spokesperson for the actress said. "We are therefore appealing the verdict. While we realize today's filing will ignite the Twitter bonfires, there are steps we need to take to ensure both fairness and justice."
 
https://ew.com/celebrity/kate-moss-addresses-testimony-johnny-depp-amber-heard-defamation-trial/

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Re: Media Today
« Reply #277 on: July 26, 2022, 07:25:32 AM »


Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Media Today
« Reply #278 on: July 26, 2022, 06:00:30 PM »
'A moral imperative’: how southern ministers are trying to change minds about the climate crisis
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jul/26/southern-christian-ministers-climate-crisis

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Media Today
« Reply #279 on: July 27, 2022, 05:14:42 AM »
Rock and Roll icon Mick Jagger turns 79
https://nypost.com/2022/07/26/mick-jagger-turns-79/#1

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Re: Media Today
« Reply #279 on: July 27, 2022, 05:14:42 AM »


 

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