Daily Archive: 08/10/2014

Aug 10 2014

Super Moon and Meteor Showers

Tonight’s Full Moon is the fourth Super Moon of the 2014 and in case you miss it, you’ll have another chance on September 9. A “super moon” occurs when the moon is new or full “at or near its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit.” Tonight’s moon is at its closest for the year, only 221,765 miles from Earth. Because of its close proximity, tides will be higher than usual, which could cause flooding in some low lying coastal areas. The National Weather Service has issues a coastal flood warning for the eastern seaboard extending from parts of New York City down to Delaware

The uniqueness of this Super Moon is that occurs in conjunction with the first night of Perseid Meteor showers:

The Perseids are a prolific meteor shower associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle. The Perseids are so-called because the point from which they appear to come, called the radiant, lies in the constellation Perseus. The name derives in part from the word Perseides, a term found in Greek mythology referring to the sons of Perseus.

The stream of debris is called the Perseid cloud and stretches along the orbit of the comet Swift-Tuttle. The cloud consists of particles ejected by the comet as it travels on its 133-year orbit. Most of the particles have been part of the cloud for around a thousand years. However, there is also a relatively young filament of dust in the stream that was pulled off the comet in 1865, which can give an early mini-peak the day before the maximum shower. [..]

The shower is visible from mid-July each year, with the peak in activity between 9 and 14 August, depending on the particular location of the stream. During the peak, the rate of meteors reaches 60 or more per hour. They can be seen all across the sky; but, because of the path of Swift-Tuttle’s orbit, Perseids are primarily visible in the northern hemisphere. As with many meteor showers, the visible rate is greatest in the pre-dawn hours, since the side of the Earth nearest to turning into the sun scoops up more meteors as the Earth moves through space. Most Perseids disappear while at heights above 80 kilometres (50 mi).

This year the showers will peak around dawn on on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. However, they may be hard to see because of the brightness of the super moon

Your best views are between midnight and a few hours before sunrise (around 6:30 a.m.) as Earth rotates into the stream of debris left behind by comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle. The view improves as the moon sets around 3 a.m. Wednesday morning. The moon will set about an hour later each subsequent day.

Beginning Monday, your best chances are at a more family friendly evening time from shortly after sunset (around 8:45 p.m.) through moonrise about an hour later. The moon also rises about an hour later each subsequent evening, giving more opportunity to see meteors before the nearly full moon washes out the sky. Also take a moment to look low on the southwest horizon for Saturn and just below and to the right for Mars.

Perseid Meteors vs the Supermoon

Aug 10 2014

Rant of the Week: Stephen Colbert, Vladimir Putin’s Food Sanctions

Vladimir Putin’s Food Sanctions

Aug 10 2014

On This Day In History August 10

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

Click on images to enlarge

August 10 is the 222nd day of the year (223rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 143 days remaining until the end of the year.

The term ‘the 10th of August’ is widely used by historians as a shorthand for the Storming of the Tuileries Palace on the 10th of August, 1792, the effective end of the French monarchy until it is restored in 1814.

On this day in  1846, Smithsonian Institution was created. After a decade of debate about how best to spend a bequest left to America from an obscure English scientist, President James K. Polk signs the Smithsonian Institution Act into law.

In 1829, James Smithson died in Italy, leaving behind a will with a peculiar footnote. In the event that his only nephew died without any heirs, Smithson decreed that the whole of his estate would go to “the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an Establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Smithson’s curious bequest to a country that he had never visited aroused significant attention on both sides of the Atlantic.

After the nephew died without heirs in 1835, President Andrew Jackson informed Congress of the bequest, which amounted to 104,960 gold sovereigns, or US$500,000 ($10,100,997 in 2008 U.S. dollars after inflation). The money, however, was invested in shaky state bonds that quickly defaulted. After heated debate in Congress, former President John Quincy Adams successfully argued to restore the lost funds with interest.  Congress also debated whether the federal government had the authority to accept the gift. Congress ultimately accepted the legacy bequeathed to the nation and pledged the faith of the United States to the charitable trust July 1, 1836.

Eight years later, Congress passed an act establishing the Smithsonian Institution, a hybrid public/private partnership, and the act was signed into law on August 10, 1846 by James Polk. (See 20 U.S.C. § 41 (Ch. 178, Sec. 1, 9 Stat. 102).) The bill was drafted by Indiana Democratic Congressman Robert Dale Owen, a Socialist and son of Robert Owen, the father of the cooperative movement.

Aug 10 2014

The Breakfast Club (Sailing Away)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

The Breakfast Club Logo photo BeerBreakfast_web_zps5485351c.png

This Day in History

‘Son of Sam’ killer David Berkowitz caught near New York City; Leno and Rosemary LaBianca murdered by Charles Manson’s cult; FDR stricken with polio; The Smithsonian Institution established.

Breakfast Tunes

The only greater thing than sailing with the dolphins is swimming with the dolphins.

Aug 10 2014

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with George Stephanopolis: The guests on Sunday’s “This Week” are: retired Army Gen. Carter Ham; SIM medical missionary Dr. Frank Glover, Jr. and Amb. Robin Sanders, former ambassador to Republic of the Congo and Nigeria.

At the roundtable are: ABC News’ Matthew Dowd and Cokie Roberts; ESPN’s LZ Granderson;, and journalist and author Sharyl Attkisson.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Mr. Schieffer’s guests are: Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI); former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey; Dr. Keiji Fukuda, the WHO assistant director-general for health security; and Watergate journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.

Meet the Press with David Gregory: Guests on thus week’s “MTP” are: Sen. Dick Durban (D-IL); Rep. Peter King (R-NY); and Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD).

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Ms, Crowley’s guests are: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ); former National Security Adviser Retired Gen. James Jones; and former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad.

Joining her for a special tribute panel the late James Brady, Pres. Reagan’s press secretary are Joe Lockhart, Ann Compton and Al Hunt.

Aug 10 2014

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

Iraq conflict: US in new air strikes on militants

 10 August 2014 Last updated at 08:20

 BBC

The US military says it has carried out a third round of air strikes on Sunni Muslim militants to defend civilians in northern Iraq.

It said jet fighters and drones had destroyed armoured vehicles that were firing on members of the Yazidi sect trapped by jihadists on Mount Sinjar.

The US authorised the strikes last week to halt the lightning advance of Islamic State (IS) in Iraq.

France’s foreign minister has arrived in Iraq to discuss the crisis.

Laurent Fabius, who landed in the capital Baghdad on Sunday morning, will also oversee the first delivery of French aid for displaced people in the Sinjar region.




Sunday’s Headlines:

Iran plane crash kills dozens

Indonesia’s five-year-old child jockeys stare down death to stave off poverty

Libya insecurity forces aid workers to leave

Aung San Suu Kyi’s party faces dilemma as Myanmar constitution bars her rise to presidency

As Erdogan makes presidential bid, Turkish media airs ‘Truman Show’

Aug 10 2014

Bumper Cars

Tony Stewart hits, kills walking driver on sprint-car track

by Bob Pockrass, Sporting News

August 10, 2014 3:08am EDT

Tyler Graves, a sprint-car racer and friend of Ward’s, told Sporting News in a phone interview that he was sitting in the Turn 1 grandstands and saw everything that happened.

“Tony pinched him into the frontstretch wall, a racing thing,” Graves said. “The right rear tire went down, he spun on the exit of (Turn) 2. They threw the caution and everything was toned down. Kevin got out of his car. … He was throwing his arms up all over the place at Tony for most of the corner.

“I know Tony could see him. I know how you can see out of these cars. When Tony got close to him, he hit the throttle. When you hit a throttle on a sprint car, the car sets sideways. It set sideways, the right rear tire hit Kevin, Kevin was sucked underneath and was stuck under it for a second or two and then it threw him about 50 yards.”



Graves, who described himself as a huge Stewart fan until Saturday night, doesn’t think Stewart should be racing.

“Tony Stewart needs to be put in prison for life,” Graves said.