Apocalypse Confirmed?

Believe it or not, the Mayans did.

End of the world speculation after new Mayan discovery

Archaeologists in Mexico have confirmed the discovery of a possible second Mayan reference to the date 2012, offering further ammunition for doom-mongers predicting an apocalypse next year.

Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History acknowledged the reference had been found in a 1,300-year-old inscription made on a carved brick fragment at a ruin at Comalcalco in the south of the country.

Most experts have previously cited only one surviving Mayan reference to the date, on a stone tablet from a nearby site at Tortuguero.

See also:
Mexico adds yet another brick to the 2012 Maya legend
Another Mayan Reference to 2012 Revealed
Mexico archaeologists acknowledge 2nd Mayan reference to 2012
Brace Yourself: The World Could End In 2012
Apocalypse 2012 Back On? Second Mayan Inscription Uncovered
Mexico acknowledges 2nd Mayan reference to 2012
Boffins find new 2012 glyph on ‘secret’ Mayan brick
Mexico Acknowledges a 2nd Mayan Reference to 2012 Date, But Insists Apocalyptic Predictions are Misinterpretations
Mexico Admits To Second Mayan 2012 End-of-World Reference
2012 Mayan Apocalypse Update – The Comalcalco Brick
Experts admit second Mayan prediction of 2012 as end of the world

Could the Mayans have been predicting Obama’s reelection?

/because that certainly would bring about end of the world as we know it

Going Nowhere Not So Fast

I think the old girl is trying to tell NASA something, she doesn’t want to fly.

Space shuttle Discovery’s mission delayed again

Space shuttle Discovery’s final flight keeps getting delayed.

The space station delivery mission is now off until the end of February. NASA had been aiming for an early February liftoff, but managers decided Thursday to take more time to complete repairs to Discovery’s external fuel tank.

Following a failed launch attempt in early November, cracks were found in metal struts of the massive tank. More cracks were discovered last week, after the shuttle was returned to its hangar. NASA is considering reinforcing all 108 struts on the central part of the tank for extra safety, NASA spokesman Allard Beutel said Friday.

The initial cracks were so big that the insulating foam on top of the damaged struts, or so-called stringers, split open. That’s NASA’s main concern: Cracking could cause foam to break away during liftoff and slam into Discovery. Columbia ended up being destroyed in 2003 after a slab of foam gouged a wing.

See also:
Discovery To Miss Early February Launch
Repairs Delay Discovery Launch as Shuttle Program Winds Down
Shuttle Discovery’s launch delayed for further repairs
US Shuttle Launch Delayed Again
Safety probe delays space shuttle launch until late February
NASA Pushes Space Shuttle Discovery Launch to Late February
NASA Rules Out Early February Launch for Discovery
Fuel tank woes delay space shuttle launch again
More delay for space shuttle Discovery launch
Shuttle Discovery’s launch postponed
Discovery launch delayed
Space Shuttle Discovery
Space Shuttle Discovery
STS-133 Mission Information
STS-133

Discovery is more than 25 years old and even when these space shuttles are in perfect shape they’re the most inherently unsafe manned spacecraft the U.S. has ever flown. Personally, I say pull the plug now, Discovery belongs in a museum, not on a launch pad. She obviously doesn’t want to fly, why tempt fate?

/is it really worth risking another shuttle crew to deliver some equipment to a space station that’s probably going to be abandoned within ten years anyway?

Chicken Beats Egg

It’s official, you can now feel free to count your chickens before they’re hatched.

Chicken Came Before the Egg: “Scientific Proof”

British scientists claim to have solved one of the great mysteries of life, the universe and everything in it: The chicken came before the egg, they say, and they’re not mincing words.

“It had long been suspected that the egg came first, but now we have the scientific proof that shows that in fact the chicken came first,” Sheffield University’s Dr Colin Freeman, according to a report in the Metro.

Researchers from Scotland and England used a supercomputer called HECToR to look in such detail at a chicken eggshell that they were able to determine the vital role of a protein used to kick-start the egg’s formation.

That protein is only found, wait for it… inside a chicken.

Freeman, who worked on HECToR with counterparts at Edinburgh’s Warwick University, said the protein had been identified earlier by scientists and was known to be linked to egg formation, “but by examining it closely we have been able to see how it controls the process,” he added, describing it as a catalyst.

Professor John Harding, who also took part in the research, told Metro the discovery could have other applications.

“Understanding how chickens make shells is fascinating in itself, but can also give clues towards designing new materials.” he said.

Which is good, because in spite of HECToR’s hard work and the “scientific proof” it yielded, the study offered no explanation as to how the chicken got there in the first place.

If not from an egg, perhaps it just came from across the road.

See also:
‘The chicken came first, not the egg’, scientists prove
Chicken came before egg
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? The chicken, researchers say!
What came first, chicken or egg?
UK scientists have proof chicken came before egg
Researchers say the chicken came before the egg in age-old riddle
Chicken-and-Egg Mystery Finally Cracked
Scientific Proof: The Chicken came before the Egg
After All These Years, It’s Been The Chicken All Along
Which came first? The chicken, not the egg!
Scientists solve chicken and egg riddle*
The Chicken and the Egg: Ancient Mystery Solved?
Scientists in Britain close to cracking chicken-egg puzzle
The chicken or the egg?

/well, now that that’s settled, you can lose sleep at night wondering where the chicken that laid the first egg came from

A Bad Idea

The Space Shuttle is by far the most dangerous spaceflight program in U.S. history. Is it really a good idea to keep pushing our luck?

NASA: Space Shuttles Could Fly Longer With Extra Funds

The chief of NASA’s space shuttle program said Tuesday that the agency could technically continue to fly its three aging orbiters beyond their planned 2010 retirement if ordered to do so by President Barack Obama and lawmakers. All it would take would be the extra funding needed to pay for it.

Space shuttle program manager John Shannon said NASA spends about $200 million a month on its space shuttle program. That’s about $2.4 billion a year that would be required to keep the shuttle flying beyond their 2010 retirement date, he said.

NASA currently plans to retire the space shuttle fleet in the fall after flying the last of four final shuttle missions remaining for this year. The next shuttle to fly is Discovery, which is poised to blast off on April 5 to deliver vital supplies and spare parts to the International Space Station.

The fleet’s retirement would end more than 29 years of U.S. space shuttle flights and leave NASA without a dedicated American spacecraft for launching astronauts into orbit.

Some U.S. senators and members of Congress have expressed support for extending the shuttle program, with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) filing a bill last week formally seeking a reprieve for NASA’s space shuttle fleet.

See also:
Congress tries to alter Obama’s plans for NASA
NASA: Money key to more space shuttle flights
Senate Bill Proposes Extending The Shuttle Program By Another Two Years
Senator’s Bill Would Expand Shuttle Program
After 50 years of NASA, we must not leave space
Senator Proposes Shuttle-Extension Hail Mary
NASA space shuttle gearing up for big phase out
Criticism mounts against Obama’s plans to change NASA strategy
President to Defend NASA Aim
Space Shuttle

It’s a shame that Obama wants to cancel the follow on Constellation/Orion program, but extending the life of the Space Shuttle program is not an acceptable alternative.

/the orbiters are past their design life, we’ve already lost 40% of the fleet and 14 astronauts, retire them before we lose another one

The World’s Worst Al Qaeda Terrorists, Coming Soon To A U.S. City Near You

What a great idea, what could possibly go wrong?

Senate votes to allow Guantanamo transfers to US soil for trial

THE US Senate has voted 79-19 to allow Guantanamo Bay detainees to be brought to US soil for trial, boosting President Barack Obama’s efforts to close the notorious facility.

The green light came in a $US42.7 billion spending bill for the US Department of Homeland Security in 2010, which easily cleared the House of Representatives last week and now heads to Obama to sign into law.

Obama vowed on his second day in office to shutter the facility, a magnet for global criticism of US tactics in the “war on terrorism,” by January 22, though White House aides say they face an uphill fight to keep that promise.

Of the roughly 220 people still held at the controversial prison camp, which then-president George W. Bush opened in January 2002, about 80 are waiting to be released and a further 60 are expected to be prosecuted.

The House-approved measure forbids the release of detainees at the US naval base in Cuba onto US soil, and requires a detailed assessment of the possible security risk before they can be brought to trial in the United States.

. . .

The bill did not address whether the Obama administration can hold prisoners indefinitely without charge in the United States and left unclear what the fate would be of those who may be tried and acquitted.

You’re damn right that it’s unclear what would happen if any of these terrorists were to be tried and acquitted on U.S. soil. What would happen? We already know that most of these terrorists can’t be deported to other countries because no other country is willing to accept them. What then? They can’t very well be locked up again after they’ve been acquitted. The only other possible alternative is to release them within the United States. Think that’s a far fetched possibility? Think again, it’s already close to happening.

Guantanamo detainees case reaches Supreme Court

The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to decide whether Guantanamo detainees who are considered no threat can be ordered released in the United States — over the objections of the Obama administration and Congress — if the prisoners have nowhere else to go.

. . .

The justices said they will hear a challenge from the Chinese Muslims, or Uighurs (WEE’-gurs), who are asking the court to put some teeth into its June 2008 ruling that said federal judges could ultimately order some detainees to be released, depending on security concerns and other circumstances.

Acting after the Supreme Court ruling, a federal judge in Washington said the Uighurs must be released immediately into the United States because their continued confinement was unjustified and the U.S. government could find no country willing to take them.

A federal appeals court, however, said the judge lacked the authority to order detainees released into the United States, setting up the new high court challenge.

So, what happens when the world’s worst terrorists face trial in Federal court, on U.S. soil, and the prosecution’s case collapses due to lack of evidence, tainted evidence due to improper interrogation or a faulty chain of evidence, or the inability to present evidence due to national security concerns, what then? Once a trial starts, the only two eventual outcomes are conviction or acquittal. What happens if any of the hardcore al Qaeda operatives, sworn to kill as many Americans as possible, are acquitted in Federal court, on U.S. soil, can’t be deported, and can’t be locked up again? What then?

See also:
Congress Approves Trying Guantanamo Terror Suspects in U.S.
Senate allows more transfers of detainees to U.S. for trial
Congress passes Guantanamo bill
Senate OKs transfer of Gitmo prisoners for trials
US Congress votes to allow Guantanamo transfers to US
Guantanamo prisoner restrictions clear Congress
Court to Decide on U.S. Release of Uighurs at Gitmo
Supreme Court to hear appeal from Guantánamo Bay Uighur prisoners
U.S. top court to hear Guantanamo Uighurs appeal
Guantanamo Inmates Get High Court Review on Release
Supreme Court To Hear Appeal From Uighurs Held At Guantanamo
High court accepts Guantanamo Uyghur case

One thing we do know for sure is that the second these al Qaeda jihadis set foot on U.S. soil proper, each one of them will have the best free criminal defense lawyers the ACLU and other liberal organizations can provide, banging on every Federal courthouse door in the country, on a crusade to attach the full panoply of legal rights enjoyed by U.S. citizens to their terrorist clients. Removing these unlawful combatants from a perfectly good military prison and military tribunal system at Guantanamo Bay and bringing them onto U.S. soil, to be tried in Federal court, ranks right up there as one of the dumbest ideas ever.

/not only is there a possibility that stone cold al Qaeda killers might eventually be released into the United States, but the whole Federal court trial and appeal process will become a farcical circus, a public stage for the jihadi “martyrs”, that will drag on for years, jeopardize national security interests through discovery, and cost the American taxpayers many millions of dollars