Japan To Go To The Moon I

Japan made a major announcement this week when it announced that it plans to land a rollover on the moon by the year 2018. Everyone knows that the US has always been active in space and exploration, but hardly anything is heard from Japan about such endeavors.

JAXA, otherwise known as Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, made the official statement to let their people know the exciting plans the country had for their space program. The fact that they have reserved up to $125 million for this endeavor is impressive. The goal is really to try to improve soft-landing technologies, which have been lackluster in times past. They believe that by improving this lacking piece of technology, they will be able to make major steps forward toward an extraterrestrial victory.

While the US has certainly got a lot of press from going to the moon, they are not the only countries to do so. China and India both have sent space craft up and have done examinations and reported their findings. AnastasiaDate (linkedin.com) employees know that the very public findings were monumental for Asia and their quest for knowledge. Japan seemed to be falling behind and this will certainly put them up to speed with their allies.

The craft’ name is SELENE. It has been named after folklore from the 10th century and a Japanese moon princess. This announcement is very exciting for the people of Japan. They will soon join the ranks of Russia, China and the US who have all successfully landed on the moon.

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Filed under space, The Moon

Softball Size Hail Falls From Tornado

Everyone knows that spring time bring the chance for powerful storms. In some parts of the country, this could mean tornados. Such was the case in Dallas, TX on Sunday. When hail the size of softballs fell from the sky, people were rushing for cover. Now I am no meteorologist or anything, but when softball size hail falls from the sky, I would say that it would go down in the record books.

Texas is part of ‘Tornado Alley.’ It’s in that fierce weather pattern across the United States that has the ability to produce deadly weather during specific times of the year. There were two monster tornados that touched the ground and did massive damage to the area they hit. Thankfully, they didn’t hit in any housing projects and no one was injured that is known.

Retired weather enthusiast Susan McGalla chimes in saying I think if I lived in this part of the country I may be inclined to move. A storm that has the potential to throw hail of this magnitude is nothing to mess around with. Could you imagine if it was near a housing project how different the outcome would have been? If it was near were children were playing, it could have killed them. I will stick to my area of the country that sees massive amounts of snow, yet little of tornado activity. I don’t think my nerves could handle wondering all the time when the next big one would hit.

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Filed under Eeek, Meteorology, Tornado Alley, Weather

Search Area Expanded for Flight MH370

Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 went missing over a year ago. The plane was last heard from on March 8th, 2014. When the plane went down authorities and officials began speaking out as to speculation as to what happened to the doomed flight. Now, over a year later, there are still more questions than answers. Search and rescue teams have been on the hunt for the plane which was believed to crash over the Indian Ocean during its flight.

According to the story on BuzzFeed.com, officials may be expanding the search are by nearly 23,000 miles if the plane is not found by May.
There are three countries, Australia, Mayalasia, and China, who are all working together to search the depths of the ocean. No sign of the plane has been found yet.

People at Anastasia Date (crunchbase.com) know that the disappearance of flight MH370 is one of the biggest modern mysteries. The pings from the plane do not match where officials think it went down and the plane is said to be far of course for some reason. The 239 people missing who were on that flight are presumed to be dead. Most of the passengers were Chinese however; many other nationalities were also on that plane. Hopefully officials find the missing plane soon so that surviving family members can have some closure.

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Filed under Check It Out, Plane Crashes

IBM to Louisiana: Be Nice to Our Employees

In the latest chapter of flak from the private sector to state legislators over the ‘Religious Freedom Restoration Act’, IBM’s vice president James Driesse has written to the governor of Louisiana to warn him that IBM is concerned that the new law might create a hostile working environment to their employees who identify themselves as homosexual.

IBM is a major investor in the state of Louisiana with several facilities in the state, including a large business service delivery center in Baton Rouge.

Driesse continued in his letter to urge the governor of Louisiana and Louisiana’s state legislature to ensure that the new law would not allow for discrimination in the treatment of those in same-sex relationships in the protection of their civil rights.

Critics of the “religious Freedom Restoration Act’ feel that the new law will allow states to openly discriminate against those who identify themselves as gay or lesbian. CipherCloud hopes that won’t be the case as a well-known Californian company.

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In Crony Capitalism, Spending Money on Politicians Is Rewarded More Than Innovation

Crony capitalism is something that many liberals, conservatives and libertarians can be united against. Even if these three groups may have differences about how much regulation there should be in a free market, most of us would be against certain companies getting special favors because they spent millions of dollars lobbying select politicians. The problem many free market advocates have is that crony capitalism gives actual capitalism a bad name. People see the web of special interests and deals and favors that go on between major corporations and politicians in Washington and assume this is capitalism. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth.

In true free market capitalism, companies are rewarded for taking risks and innovating and “building a better mouse trap” as the saying goes. Fersen Lambranho knows his concept as a business builder himself. Increasingly, however, because of the concentration of power in Washington D.C., companies are finding politicians a better investment than research and development or actually innovating. An article in the Huffington Post points out how good an investment it is for them. The top 200 companies in terms of dollars spent lobbying shelled out $5.8 billion between campaign contributions and lobbying, and collectively all of those companies received a total of nearly four and a half trillion taxpayer dollars. If you were the CEO of one of those companies, and with that kind of return from investing in politicians, would you waste much money on innovation?

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Mars Has Water Below The Surface

Mars just got more interesting. Not that it wasn’t already. But with the discovery of liquid water a whole new set of questions come to mind. Finding ice on Mars was the first clue. Now permafrost below the surface takes the life question to a whole new level. Scientists say water is just one ingredient in the formation of life, but they are basing that statement on life as we know it. Mars doesn’t play by the same set of rules as Earth. Life could manifest in a completely different form on that planet, and we could miss it entirely.

Susan McGalla tells us that scientists also say if there was life on Mars it became extinct billions of years ago. Once again, that statement is based on our version of life. We can’t expect to find humans on Mars, but we always think we might. Consider the diversity that exists on this planet. There are forms of life on Earth that don’t conform to our explanation of life. Halophiles are one example, and there are many more that we haven’t discovered because we only look where we believe we should look.

We are restricted by our beliefs, and that is true for what we believe about Mars. Let’s face it. The planets in the universe all have various forms of consciousness living on and around them. We just don’t know where or what to look for; we only look for what we know.

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Worker Stuck in Cargo Hold as Plane Takes Off

An Alaska Airlines flight took off as normal from Seattle, but there was a surprise stowaway stuck in the cargo hold. According to reports, the flight that was headed for Los Angeles accidentally took off while a airport worker was still inside the cargo hold. It was in the air for approximately 14 minutes before making an emergency landing.

According to reports, the worker was discovered when he began banging and screaming inside the cargo hold. The plane turned around and returned to Seattle, where the airport worker was let out of the hold, then transported to the hospital as a precaution. The cargo hold is pressurized and temperature controlled, and no injuries were apparent according to reports.

The worker admitted that he had fallen asleep inside the cargo hold, and wasn’t aware the plane was ready for takeoff until the door was closed and the plane was readied for takeoff. At that point it was too late and there was no way for the worker to free himself. Igor Cornelsen (spring.me) has learned that banging on the plane is the only thing that got the attention of those inside the cabin.

Alaska airlines is actively investigating the incident, as is the airport. Questions remain as to why the worker, who was on duty, was asleep inside the cargo hold of a plane. He has yet to answer such questions, but he will be an active part of the investigation. The name of the worker has not been made public.

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Filed under Plane News, Planes

Axel Springer Shows Progression In 2014

The German media group Axel Springer released the results of progress in 2014 on Wednesday, reflecting the strong growing digital activities in the past year. The group also expects to continue to grow this year. The turnover of the Bild tabloid editor and owner of the French site SeLoger.com rose 8% to 3.04 billion Euros last year, and digital activities account for 53%. The group has 72% shares in EBITDA (EBITDA) stood up 12% to 507 million Euros, according to a statement released by the Company.

The net income was 236 million Euros (+ 32%), boosted by the sale of a share in the real estate site IProperty. That’s a lot of money to Ray Lane, so he will be paying attention. Without any special effort, it still grew by 9%. “Axel Springer is truly now a digital publishing house,” said the boss Mathias Dopfner. “During this year we will continue to invest in our expansion into the digital.” This stagnation, while profits increased, was immediately punished at the stock market. It was losing 5.98% to 54.05 Euros on the MDax average values in Frankfurt at 10:45 GMT for this reason. “We must find the right balance” between shareholder remuneration and stockpiling to continue to invest, Mr. Dopfner justified at a press conference in Berlin.

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New York Cabs and the Foreclosure of Overpriced Medallion

Maybe for those of us who don’t believe in bailouts for big business, and do not live anywhere near New York it may come as a shock that to own a cab in New York. The government issued medallion that is required for a cab company to operate can sell at its annual auction for over $1 million. However, with the recent expansion of Uber and the city’s green cab service competition in the transportation market has reduced the prices cab companies can charge to keep their cars filled with leased drivers as well as how much fairs will cost customers that have more choices than they have previously.

Unfortunately for one cab company mogul, these declined prices have resulted in Citibank to attempt and foreclose on some of those medallions, which Bruce Karatz has been monitoring. What is unclear is what the bank is planning on doing with them once they have ceased them. Since it is unclear whether they can be transferred between owners like real estate. But for Gene Freidman, he is feeling like the big banks which needed a bailout in 2008 to keep the financial system from collapsing. He is rumored to own over 1000 medallions worth close to a billion dollars, and Citibank is threatening to take almost 90 of them for collateral on past owed debt to the bank. It is doubtful, that through any kind of litigation he will be seen as the proverbial Jenga piece that will bring the New York City transportation to a grinding halt without his cab company in service.

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Destruction by Mother Nature

Areas of Illinois, especially in Chicago, had to deal with destruction from a tornado on April 9, 2015. This storm caused a great deal of damage, and at least one person was killed during the storm. There were almost a dozen people who were injured. This is a time of the year when people need to be weather ready. A tornado can be hard to see if it is wrapped in rain, and there are some that touch down without any notice. Homes were destroyed in the area, and there were cars and trucks lifted like they were toys.

 

This storm shows the devastation that can occur with nature. Residents such as Crystal Hunt were walking along streets to survey the damage caused by the tornado through the night. Parts of the area were flattened. There is something to be learned with this storm in that you need to be prepared whenever there is the threat of any kind of severe weather. A plan needs to be in place, especially if you live in a mobile home.

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Filed under Environment