Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday Post

Starting the week off right.


One-third of Slave Lake, Alta., has been lost to fire, the town’s mayor, Karina Pillay-Kinnee, said Monday.

Speaking at a technical briefing via phone from the razed community, Ms. Pillay-Kinnee said the town’s southeast, where about half of the homes and buildings have been damaged or destroyed, is most affected. The community has also lost its town hall and library, but the hospital, school and RCMP detachment remain.

Letting one's hair down is just one way of dealing with earthquake-related power shortages:

Vending machines and heated lavatory seats will be turned off, and men will swap their suits for Hawaiian shirts and shorts as Japan prepares for a summer of power shortages after an earthquake and tsunami devastated parts of the country two months ago. Japan's environment ministry has announced a "Super Cool Biz" campaign, to persuade workers to swap their suits for polo shirts, Hawaiian shirts, jeans and sneakers. Shintaro Ishihara, the Tokyo governor, has called for hundreds of thousands of vending machines to be turned off. The trade ministry pointed to another target for additional savings -- lavatory seats with sprays of water and dryers account for 4% of household energy use.

I don't know why the UN cares if they are never going to do anything about North Korea in the first place:

North Korea remains "actively engaged" in exporting ballistic missiles, components and technology to numerous customers in the Middle East and South Asia in violation of United Nations sanctions, a U.N. panel said in a new report.

The seven-member panel said in a report to the U.N. Security Council obtained Monday by The Associated Press that North Korea has also completed — or is about to complete — construction of a second launch site for long-range rockets.

The launch site on the country's west coast is close to Tongchangdong and could be used for ballistic missiles in violation of U.N. sanctions, the report said. It said the installations appear "bigger and more sophisticated" than the original site on the east coast used for the 1998, 2006 and 2009 Taepodong missile launches.

North Korea embarked on the development of ballistic missiles in the 1970s and in the 1990s it test-fired a Nodong missile with a 1,300-kilometre (810-mile) range.

"In an effort to get hard currency and advance its own programs, the country has been actively engaged in the export of complete (missile) systems, components and technology to numerous customers in the Middle East and South Asia," the panel said.

Somebody's letting the Queen into Ireland. Discuss.

Geometry in space:

Glowing sedately with a steady yellow-white hue, Saturn is visible in the night sky right on into the wee hours of the morning before it sets. This weekend, the ringed planet will appear in a triangle pattern with the moon and a bright star.

Here's how the Saturn triangle will work:

Situated below and to Saturn's left is the bluish star Spica, in the constellation Virgo, the 16th brightest star in the sky, which is located 260 light-years from Earth. Spica is about eight times larger than our sun and nearly 2,300 times brighter. 

During a three-night span of Friday, Saturday and Sunday, a third celestial object will join in the scene: the moon....
At a distance of about 225,000 miles (362,000 kilometers) the moon will appear to sweep past the planet and star rather rapidly. The moon, in fact, appears to move its own width per hour to the east (left) relative to Saturn and Spica. As a result, the scene between this trio will appear to change noticeably from night to night.

Superman in England.

Stay Puft...but not for long!

Historic photobombs are still funny.

I was really worried about this sloth.

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