Tell Me Something I Don’t Already Know

Iran is working to develop nuclear weapons, really?

U.N. report cites secret nuclear research by Iran

The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog said Tuesday that it has “serious concerns” that Iran is secretly working toward building a nuclear bomb, citing documents pointing to Iranian scientists’ extensive and possibly ongoing efforts to master the technology needed for atomic weapons.

The International Atomic Energy Agency cited “credible” intelligence — provided by 10 countries and vetted over many months — that directly contradicts Iran’s steadfast assertions that its nuclear intentions are entirely peaceful.

“The information indicates that Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear device,” the IAEA said in an uncharacteristically blunt report prepared for the U.N. agency’s 35-nation board of directors.

Read the report:

Implementation of the NPT Safeguards
Agreement and relevant provisions of
Security Council resolutions in the
Islamic Republic of Iran

See also:
IAEA report: Iran has been working toward nuclear bomb since 2003
Nightmare Scenario In the Middle East as Iran Inches Closer to the Bomb
Iran’s nuclear program alarms world powers
World divided on response to Iran nuke report
US breaks silence on IAEA report,’won’t rule anything out’
European states call for stiffer sanctions against Iran following IAEA report
Official says Russia will not support any new sanctions against Iran over nuclear program
Iran says IAEA nuclear report influenced by U.S., West
PM: Iranian nukes endanger Mideast, world peace
Western Powers Warn of New Sanctions if Iran Ignores Nuclear Concerns
IAEA’s Iran Report Represents Critical Inflection Point
The IAEA report: what does it really mean and will it lead to war with Iran?

Face it, sanctions aren’t going to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons, especially as long as China and Russia continue to side with Ira. That leaves only one option, a military strike. Whether a military strike will stop Iran’s nuclear program is debatable and extremely risky. However, the 100% certain alternative is that Iran will develop nuclear weapons. Those are the two bad choices, a military strike or Iran gets nuclear weapons. Pick one.

/and forget about all the fussing about air routes and in-flight refueling, use ICBMs tipped with conventional ground penetrator payloads and start here

Yeti Yeti Oxen Free

It’s like a snipe hunt, in the snow.

Russian and US Scientists Gather to Hunt Down Yeti

Scientists from several countries, including Russia and the U.S., will gather in the Kemerova region of Siberia to hunt down the Yeti, after alleged sightings of the legendary creatures increased threefold in the area over the past 20 years.

Scientists from Russia, the U.S., Canada, Sweden, Estonia, Mongolia and China were invited to evaluate evidence of the creatures — the existence of which has never been proven — at a conference later this week, according to Russian radio station the Voice of Russia.

Alleged sightings of Yetis in Kemerovo and the neighboring Altai region, about 1,988 miles (3,200 kilometers) east of Moscow, are up three times compared to 20 years ago, with scientists estimating that there is a current population of at least several dozen in the area.

See also:
W Siberia Yeti country?
Search is on for Yeti, Russian Researchers Say
U.S. and Russian Yeti Scientists Team-Up to Find 30-strong Siberian Tribe
Bigfoot quest: Siberia drafts in the pros
International Team of Scientists will Hunt for the Yeti
Bigfoot Experts Gather in Siberia to Hunt for Hominids
Scientists set off on yeti hunt
Hunters to track down elusive yeti
Scientists set off to find the abominable snowman
Scientists Prepare to Find Yeti The Abominable Snowman
Yeti Search: BREAKING BIGFOOT NEWS – Sasquatch Hunt is On!

You know, if yetis existed, you’d think someone would have found at least a dead yeti body/skeleton or produced a clear photograph of one, especially since the advent of ubiquitous remote scouting/trail cameras.

/if you ask me, this “conference” is just an excuse for these scientists to get together for a few days, party, and get drunk

Warp Speed?

Was Einstein wrong, can neutrinos blow through the speed of light stop sign?

Speedy Particles Put Einstein to the Test

An experiment purporting to show that subatomic particles can travel faster than light has scientists’ heads spinning. If confirmed, it would undermine key pillars of modern physics.

At a presentation in Switzerland, scientists said Friday they had recorded ghostlike particles, known as neutrinos, a tiny bit faster than light—an apparent breach of the cosmic speed limit set down by Albert Einstein more than a century ago.

. . .

Neutrinos are particles with almost no mass and no charge, and they can pass through ordinary matter unaffected. At any given moment, billions harmlessly stream through a person’s body.

In the experiment known as the Oscillation Project with Emulsion-Tracking Apparatus, neutrinos were measured as traveling slightly faster than light on a 450-mile trip from CERN near Geneva to the Gran Sasso underground lab in central Italy. The particles moved at a velocity just above the speed of light. That result was based on more than 15,000 neutrino events measured at the Italian lab, CERN said.

See also:
Measurement of the neutrino velocity with the OPERA detector in the CNGS beam
Neutrinos may have traveled faster than the speed of light
UPDATE 1-Particles found to break speed of light
Particles recorded moving faster than light – CERN
Scientists Question Faster-Than-Light Neutrinos
Light speed: Flying into fantasy
Those faster-than-light neutrinos. Four things to think about
Particles faster than light: Revolution or mistake?
CERN neutrinos don’t “disprove” Einstein
Details emerge about European scientists’ discovery
Physicists explain how neutrino beat Einstein
Challenging Einstein Is Usually A Losing Venture
Physicists wary of junking light speed limit yet
Faster Than Light Neutrinos? Don’t Bet On It
CERN – the European Organization for Nuclear Research
CERN
Welcome to LNGS – Gran Sasso National Laboratory
Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso
Oscillation Project with Emulsion-tRacking Apparatus (OPERA)
OPERA experiment

Are these results science fact or science fiction? Beats me. If it is true, it’s going to turn physics as we know it on its head.

/stay tuned, this is sure to be a hot topic of scientific debate for quite some time

It Came From Outer Space

Life from the sky.

DNA building blocks found in meteorites

For 50 years, scientists have debated whether the components of DNA — the molecule central to all life on Earth — could spontaneously form in space. A new analysis of a dozen meteorites found in Antarctica and elsewhere presents the strongest evidence yet that the answer is yes.

Meteorites are space rocks that have fallen to the ground, and the new report bolsters the notion that heavy meteorite bombardment of the early Earth may have seeded the planet with the stuff of life.

“[M]Meteorites may have served as a molecular kit providing essential ingredients for the origin of life on Earth and possibly elsewhere,” write the authors of the report out today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

See also:
Found: A Batch of DNA Molecules That Seem To Have Originated in Space
Building Blocks of DNA Found in Meteorites From Space
NASA: Building blocks of DNA ‘can be made in space’
DNA in Meteorites Suggests Life Came from Space
DNA components confirmed to come from space
Scientists find building blocks of life in meteorites
NASA researchers find DNA building blocks can be made in space
DNA From Asteroids

Hey, if these DNA laden meteorites are showing up on Earth, they’re showing up on other planets too, thereby making the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe much more plausible.

/God works in mysterious ways

Dialing Death To Bees

You know, if cell phone radiation does this to bees, holding them next to your head for extended periods of time probably doesn’t have any positive health benefits.

Cell Phones Caused Mysterious Worldwide Bee Deaths, Study Finds

Cellphone transmissions may be responsible for a mysterious, worldwide die off in bees that has mystified scientists.

Dr. Daniel Favre, a former biologist with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland, carefully placed a mobile phone underneath a beehive and then monitored the reaction of the workers.

According to a story in The Daily Mail, the bees were able to tell when the handsets were making and receiving calls. They responded by making the high pitched squeaks that usually signal the start of swarming.

“This study shows that the presence of an active mobile phone disturbs bees — and has a dramatic effect,” Favre told the Daily Mail.

Read the study:

Mobile phone-induced honeybee worker piping

See also:
Why a mobile phone ring may make bees buzz off: Insects infuriated by handset signals
Cellphones May Contribute to Bee Colony Collapse, Study Suggests
Cell Phones Are Killing The Bees: Study
Bees Being Killed by Cell Phone Signals?
Why answering your cellphone might be killing bees
Cell phone signals really are killing the bees, study shows
Cellphones Could Be Killing Bees [STUDY]
Your cell phone is driving bees crazy
Can you bzzzz me now? Study says cell phones are killing honey bees

If this is true, we could be in real trouble. Bees are crucial to agriculture and ever expanding cellphone ownership and networks will theoretically kill more and more bees. That’s not a good trend if you like to eat food.

/hey, don’t blame me, it’s not my fault, I don’t own a cell phone

They Got Fooled Again

Much like the United States, Iran seems to have a real problem protecting its computer networks. Someone seems to be obsessed with sabotaging their nuclear program. I wonder who that might be?

Second computer virus infiltrates Iran’s computer systems

Iran has discovered a second computer virus designed to damage government computer systems.

The discovery of the virus, called Stars, was announced Monday by a senior Iranian official, Gholam-Reza Jalali, head of an Iranian cyberdefense agency, according to reports.

Jalali said in a statement that the damage from the virus, which looks like a regular government computer file, has been minimal and that Iranian scientists are currently studying the virus.

The virus was aimed at nuclear facilities, according to the Washington Post, and seems to suggest “a broader campaign by foreign saboteurs to undermine Iran’s atomic energy program.”

See also:
New Computer Strike Could Target Iranian Atomic Sites
Fresh Virus Outbreak Affects Iran’s Computer Systems
Iran discovers 2nd virus attack
New cyber attack targets Iran
Iran Claims Stars Virus a Second Cyber-Attack
Iranian official: New computer worm discovered
Iran investigates Stars virus
Iran Says It Was Targeted With Second Worm, Stars
As the Worm Turns: Iran Sees Stars
Iran says is uncovers second cyber attack
Iran Under Fresh Malware Attack
Security experts can’t verify Iran’s claims of new worm
Is the Stars Worm Just a Hoax?

Well, I certainly hope the Stars virus attack on Iran’s nuclear program isn’t a hoax and does as much damage as the Stuxnet worm, which was apparently wildly more effective than Iran is admitting to.

/you’ll note that Iran still hasn’t managed to power up the Bushehr reactor, which is as good a yardstick as any that their nuclear program has been ground to a halt

St. Patrick’s Day Mercury

A week from today, the MESSENGER will be checking out the first rock from the Sun. Remember to hoist a green beer or two to NASA.

MESSENGER Spacecraft to Swing Into Orbit Around Mercury

Scientists are excited about solving some of the mysteries surrounding our smallest and hottest planet. The findings are expected to broaden our understanding of rocky planets, more and more of which are being discovered in other solar systems.

At about 8:45 pm Eastern Daylight Time on March 17, the MESSENGER spacecraft will execute a 15-minute maneuver that will place it into orbit around Mercury, making it the first craft ever to do so, and initiating a one-year science campaign to understand the innermost planet.

See also:
At last! Messenger craft poised to orbit Mercury
MESSENGER poised for Mercury orbit insertion
MESSENGER Poised For Mercury Orbit Insertion
NASA’s Messenger Spacecraft Gears Up to Orbit Mercury
Next Week Messenger Probe Will Become First Craft To Orbit Mercury
When Messenger Arrives in Orbit: Q&A With Sean Solomon, NASA’s Mercury Boss
Planet Mercury in the news next week
NASA – MESSENGER – Unlocking the Secrets of Mercury
MESSENGER

I’m sure the scientists will find this interesting although, as far as planets go, Mercury is pretty much worthless. It doesn’t have an atmosphere and it’s way too hot.

/that said, it was launched seven years ago and it’s not costing us much extra at this point, so go MESSENGER, send us back some good data