Nasa unveils Hubble’s successor

jwst 2007 model

The model of the JWST is on display in Washington DC. The US space agency Nasa has unveiled a model of a space telescope that scientists say will be able to see to the farthest reaches of the Universe. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is intended to replace the aging Hubble telescope. It will be larger than its predecessor, sit farther from Earth and have a giant mirror to enable it to see more. Officials said the JWST – named after a former Nasa administrator – was on course for a launch in June 2013.

astrogeology, spitzer style, an earth’s view…

Earth's View of Cosmic City
Spitzer Telescope Data

Written by Linda Vu, Spitzer Science Center

May 28, 2007

Large galaxy clusters are the universe’s metropolises, and for years many astronomers have focused their attention on the crowded “downtowns.” However, a new map of some of the largest ancient galactic cities shows that much of the “action” is happening in the cosmic suburbs.
Keep on reading!

RN version 2.10.01

RavenNuke(tm) Version 2.10.01 Released!

RavenNuke(tm)Finally! A bundled RavenNuke(tm) distribution (based from nuke v7.6) with all of the latest patches installed as well as the latest NukeSentinel(tm) release (2.5.08 as of this writing) and more. This FULL release is basically a fix pack release only – with all fixes to any known issues since v2.10.00 was released – No new features. Simply ftp the files, make a few changes in configuration files, run the installer, and you have a site with all the protection that this one does!

Read all about it and post all questions/comments in the RavenNuke(tm) Support Forums

Youngsters in Europe, US Get Front-Row Seats to Space via Ham Radio

Expedition 14/15 flight engineer Suni Williams, KD5PLB, during a spacewalk earlier in her stay aboard the ISS. The spacesuits weight about 800 lbs on Earth but are nearly weightless in space. [NASA Photo]

NEWINGTON, CT, May 4, 2007 — Now part of the ISS Expedition 15 crew, US astronaut Suni Williams, KD5PLB, has continued her run of successful Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) school contacts. In late April, she enlightened youngsters in Italy, Germany Virginia and Illinois about what it’s like to live aboard the ISS. Williams has been in space since December and is scheduled to return home next month via the space shuttle that will bring her replacement. During the first of two ham radio conversations on April 23 with students at the Scuola Europea Varese in Varese, Italy, Williams allowed that she’s growing tired of space meals.

“They were tasty for the first couple of months, but now it’s getting a little bit old, because the menu sort of repeats,” Williams responded. “It’s about a 10-day cycle, and then you start eating the same things over and over again, so I try to be creative and mix new things with each other.”

Shane Lynd, VK4KHZ, served as the Earth station for the event. Students at the school spent about three months learning about the ISS. The Scuola Europea Varese is an international co-ed school with an enrollment of 1300 students, pre-school through high school, from all over Europe. An audience of about 300 looked on during the contact, which attracted media coverage from newspapers and television.

Verizon Conferencing provided a teleconferencing link between Australia and Italy. Italian ARISS mentor Francesco De Paolis, IK0WGF, set up live audio streaming on the AMSAT Italia Web site.

A few hours later, youngsters at Kingston Elementary School in Virginia Beach, Virginia, spoke with Williams during a direct VHF contact between NA1SS and control op Ed Williams, KN4KL. Thirteen Kingston third through fifth graders participated in the event, while the rest of the schools nearly 600 students watched via closed-circuit TV. The father of one of the pupils, Julia, had graduated from the US Naval Academy with Williams, and they later served on helicopter squadrons in nearby Norfolk. Julia wanted to know how long it took to prepare for a spacewalk.


“Well, it takes a little while,” Williams explained. “It’s sort of like when you’re going diving. We’re going to breathe 100 percent oxygen, and so we have to make sure that we get all the nitrogen out of our system. So that’s the longest preparation time, and then we have to get the spacesuits ready.” She said it typically takes four to five hours before the astronauts are ready to open the hatch and go out into space.

Members of the Virginia Beach Amateur Radio Club (VBARC) provided the ground station and support for the ARISS event, which was the subject of a newspaper article in the Virginian Pilot. (The ARRL Virginia Section Web site has a copy of the article and additional information on this event.)

Two days later, about a dozen youngsters attending Christian Life Elementary School in Rockford, Illinois, had their “day in space.” Youngsters there chatted with Williams at the helm of NA1SS via Earth station control operator Shari Harlan, N9SH. Williams told one questioner that she believes the next step for the human spaceflight program is to return to the moon.

“We’ve got a lot that we can learn from living in a different type of gravity environment if we want to explore further, potentially go out to Mars or some other part of the universe,” she said. “If we’re only at the moon, we’ll have only a small delay in communication — maybe a two-second delay — and we need to learn how to work autonomously without always [having] the help of the ground. It would be nice to have a moon base to see how that would work and see if we can still survive there.”

Upward of 1000 students looked on during the ARISS QSO, and audio and video were fed live to a local Amateur TV repeater.

On April 28, Williams fielded more questions from students at the Samuel von Pufendorf Gymnasium, a middle and high school of some 675 students in Floeha, Germany. The direct contact was between NA1SS and the school’s Amateur Radio club station DL0GYM, with Harald Schoenwitz, DL2HSC, as the control operator. All of the students who took part in the event had obtained their Amateur Radio licenses in advance of the contact.

Williams answered 18 of the youngster’s questions on various topics. She told the students she wished the ISS had Internet access. “It really would be helpful,” she remarked. She noted the crew does have access to e-mail, however. She also said that the crew can see the northern lights from above, and on one occasion, an aurora occurred during a space walk. “It was a little creepy to see the green lights flashing,” she said.

The possible effects of global warming are evident from the space station as well, Williams reported. “I can definitely see differences in the glaciers in the Himalayas and in South America,” she said.

About 50 people plus news media looked on as the approximately 10-minute contact progressed flawlessly. Five newspapers, three radio stations and the regional TV channel reported on the event. The von Pufendorf contact was the 290th since the ARISS program began coordinating ham radio events for schools when the first space station crew came aboard in November 2000.

ARISS is an international educational outreach with US participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA.



Atheists go to Washington

Atheists go on the political offensive in God-fearing US

By Tim Shipman in Washington, Sunday Telegraph Last Updated: 12:43am BST 07/05/2007

By day, Joe Zamecki works as a landscaper and valet in Austin, capital of George W Bush’s home state of Texas, which is regarded by many
natives as God’s own country.

In his spare time, however, he is quietly working to undermine the dominance of America’s God-fearing majority. He is one among a growing band of “out” atheists, and wants a US that is “one nation under no god”. On Thursday, while Christian Americans were celebrating National Prayer Day, Mr Zamecki, the state director of American Atheists, was leading a demonstration against the public display of the words “In God We Trust” in the state legislature.

Atheist groups from Los Angeles to Little Rock observed a National Day of Reason instead.

Another Brief History

Posted by: “Carol Smith”   HumanCarol

Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:48 pm (PST)  ‘A Brief History of Disbelief’

Premiers on Television May 4, 2007
[View the one hour show on-line at URL above]

Jonathan Miller, author, director, and commentator, recalls the origin of
his own lack of belief and uncovers the hidden story of atheism in A Brief
History of <> Disbelief. This
highly acclaimed BBC series of three one-hour programs is available now for
the first time on public television in the United States.

Titanic Ho! Ham radio operators raise memory of Titanic


by John Taylor

Branson — Ham radio operators worldwide paid tribute Saturday to John George “Jack” Phillips, the man who sent the distress code that alerted other ships to the Titanic disaster 95 years ago.

Four members of the Nixa Amateur Radio Club organized the event, which was held at the Titanic museum in Branson.

Shortly before midnight on April 14, 1912, the luxury liner, which had been considered unsinkable, struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic during its maiden voyage. Of the 2,229 passengers and crew on board, only 713 survived.

“Had it not been for the radio operators, there would have been no survivors,” said Rod Kittleman of Nixa, one of the event’s organizers.

Radio operators stationed outside the museum made contact with other operators not only in the United States, but in countries such as the United Kingdom, Portugal and Japan as well.

More than 500,000 people have visited the museum since it opened in April 2006, Kellogg-Joslin said. Among those visitors have been descendants of Titanic survivors, including the great-granddaughters of Margaret Brown, who was made famous in the 1964 film “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.”

In Memory – June Callwood, 1924 – 2007

June Callwood
June Callwood

June Callwood, Canada’s social conscience, dies at 82.

“If any of you happens to see an injustice, you are no longer a spectator, you are a participant. And you have an obligation to do something.”
    June Callwood – accepting Writers’ Trust Award for Distinguished Contribution, Toronto (7 March 2007)

June Callwood, the remarkable Canadian journalist, humanitarian and social activist, died early Saturday after a long fight with cancer.
She was 82.

She was born in Chatham, Ontario and began her journalism career at Brantford Collegiate.  Awards and credits include the Order of Canada, Order of Ontario, Toronto Arts Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, and she was an inductee into the Canadian News Hall of Fame.

“She was first diagnosed with inoperable cancer in 2004, but refused treatment and continued to be active, most recently on the campaign to end child poverty, until a few months ago.

Callwood blazed trails for women’s rights, gay rights and the rights of the underprivileged with a history of activism dating back to the 1960s.” —  CBC

In Memory – Kurt Vonnegut: 1922-2007

Kurt Vonnegut
Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut is one writer who moved much of my generation and who is responsible for much of how we think today.  Today he died, another great human mind, passing into history. A person full of love, insight, and story telling.  Thanks Kurt, you rocked my universe.


Our president is a Christian? So was Adolf Hitler. What can be said to our young people, now that psychopathic personalities, which is to say persons without consciences, without senses of pity or shame, have taken all the money in the treasuries of our government and corporations, and made it all their own?

 © 2005 Kurt Vonnegut Extracted from A Man Without a Country:  A Memoir of Life in George W Bush’s America

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.

I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anybody tell you different.

I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.

I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”

Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.

Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.

A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.

Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.

True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.

Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter can be said to remedy anything.

Requiem (ending) 

When the last living thing
has died on account of us,
how poetical it would be
if Earth could say,
in a voice floating up
from the floor
of the Grand Canyon,
“It is done.”
People did not like it here.[60]
–Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country, 2005

“Our president is a Christian? So was Adolf Hitler. What can be said to our young people, now that psychopathic personalities, which is to say persons without consciences, without senses of pity or shame, have taken all the money in the treasuries of our government and corporations, and made it all their own?”

 © 2005 Kurt Vonnegut Extracted from A Man Without a Country:  A Memoir of Life in George W Bush’s America

Study finds that females outnumber males, online in U.S

Last Updated: Friday, April 13, 2007 | 10:27 AM ET
CBC News

Bucking the perception of the internet as a male-dominated world, a study released this week found more women than men are going online in the United States.

An estimated 97.2 million females aged 3 and older will be online in 2007, or 51.7 per cent of the total online population in the U.S., according to a report by eMarketer.

The report, Women Online: Taking a New Look, suggests female internet usage has been ahead of male usage for some time. But now, eMarketer said, other researchers such as comScore Media Matrix, Arbitron and
Edison Media Research support the same conclusion.

According to eMarketer, female usage of the internet in the U.S. has risen 12.4 per cent since 2000, compared with 3.2 percent for males.  In 2011, 109.7 million U.S. females are projected to be online, amounting to 51.9 percent of the online population.

However, women don’t appear to be as enamored of online video as their male counterparts, the study found. Only 66 percent of the estimated 97.2 million females online watch videos, compared with 78 percent of the 90.9 million men.

The author of the eMarketer report said the change in demographics could affect trends in content and usage of the web. ” For girls who have grown up with technology, there is no significant gender gap in internet usage,” said eMarketer senior analyst Debra Aho Williamson. ” The rise of activities that are particularly appealing to young females, such as social networking, will result in even greater usage.”

Studies that look at only adult populations still find more men online than women in the U.S.

The Pew Internet & American Life Project from April 2006 reported 74 percent of adult males in the U.S. were online, compared with 71 percent of women.

A Statistics Canada study of adults conducted in 2005 found a minuscule difference in usage between the sexes, with 68 percent of men versus 67.8 percent of women counting as internet users.

MSG Report – Batteries were fried

Report Reveals Likely Causes of Mars Spacecraft Loss


Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Global Surveyor

WASHINGTON – After studying Mars four times as long as originally planned, NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor orbiter appears to have succumbed to battery failure caused by a complex sequence of events involving the onboard computer memory and ground commands.


The causes were released today in a preliminary report by an internal review board. The board was formed to look more in-depth into why NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor went silent in November 2006 and recommend any processes or procedures that could increase safety for other spacecraft.

Mars Global Surveyor last communicated with Earth on Nov. 2, 2006. Within 11 hours, depleted batteries likely left the spacecraft unable to control its orientation.

Guy Webster 818-354-6278

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.


Dwayne Brown  202-358-1726

NASA Headquarters, Washington                                                                                


NEWS RELEASE: 2007-040                                                                          April 13, 2007



“The loss of the spacecraft was the result of a series of events linked to a computer error made five months before the likely battery failure,” said board Chairperson Dolly Perkins, deputy director-technical of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.


On Nov. 2, after the spacecraft was ordered to perform a routine adjustment of its solar panels, the spacecraft reported a series of alarms, but indicated that it had stabilized. That was its final transmission. Subsequently, the spacecraft reoriented to an angle that exposed one of two batteries carried on the spacecraft to direct sunlight. This caused the battery to overheat and ultimately led to the depletion of both batteries. Incorrect antenna pointing prevented the orbiter from telling controllers its status, and its programmed safety response did not include making sure the spacecraft orientation was thermally safe. 


The board also concluded that the Mars Global Surveyor team followed existing procedures, but that procedures were insufficient to catch the errors that occurred. The board is finalizing recommendations to apply to other missions, such as conducting more thorough reviews of all non-routine changes to stored data before they are uploaded and to evaluate spacecraft contingency modes for risks of overheating.


“We are making an end-to-end review of all our missions to be sure that we apply the lessons learned from Mars Global Surveyor to all our ongoing missions,” said Fuk Li, Mars Exploration Program manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.


Mars Global Surveyor, launched in 1996, operated longer at Mars than any other spacecraft in history, and for more than four times as long as the prime mission originally planned. The spacecraft returned detailed information that has overhauled understanding about Mars. Major findings include dramatic evidence that water still flows in short bursts down hillside gullies, and identification of deposits of water-related minerals leading to selection of a Mars rover landing site.


The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages Mars Global Surveyor for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, developed and operates the spacecraft.


Information about the Mars Global Surveyor mission, including the preliminary report from the process review board and a list of some important discoveries by the mission, is available on the Internet at:




Finding beauty in the universe


February 5, 2007


Astrophysicist Beth A. Biller
Astrophysicist Beth A. Biller

— Beth A. Biller is part of an international team of astronomers trying to tease out images of planets around young stars by removing the distortions caused by Earth’s atmosphere.

Extrasolar planets are extremely faint targets to begin with, and an atmospheric effect known as “speckling” has thwarted most previous attempts to observe them directly. Using instruments installed at the Very Large Telescope in Chile, Biller’s team has constructed some of the highest contrast images every obtained of substellar objects.

Her work is also helping determine requirements for NASA’s Terrestrial Planet Finder, a future mission that will directly observe and characterize habitable planets around nearby stars. Currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Arizona, she presented her research in an oral session at this year’s winter meeting of the American Astronomical Society. She is a native of the Washington, D.C., area.


Saturn Ho!

Saturn’s Strange Hot Spot

MAUNA KEA (February 4, 2005) Astronomers using the Keck I telescope in Hawaii are learning much more about a strange, thermal ” hot spot” on Saturn that is located at the tip of the planet’s south pole. In what the team is calling the sharpest thermal views of Saturn ever taken from the ground, the new set of infrared images suggests a warm polar vortex at Saturn’s south pole — the first to ever be discovered in the solar system. This warm polar cap is home to a distinct compact hot spot, believed to contain the highest measured temperatures on Saturn. A paper announcing the results appears in the Feb. 4th issue of “Science.”

A ” polar vortex” is a persistent, large-scale weather pattern, likened to a jet stream on Earth that occurs in the upper atmosphere. On Earth, the Arctic Polar Vortex is typically located over eastern North America in Canada and plunges cold arctic air to the Northern Plains in the United States. Earth’s Antarctic Polar Vortex, centered over Antarctica,is responsible for trapping air and creating unusual chemistry, such as the effects that create the ” ozone hole.” Polar vortices are found on Earth, Jupiter, Mars and Venus, and are colder than their surroundings. But new images from the W. M. Keck Observatory show the first evidence of a polar vortex at much warmer temperatures. And the warmer, compact region at the pole itself is quite unusual.

” There is nothing like this compact warm cap in the Earth’s atmosphere,” aid Dr. Glenn S. Orton, of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and lead author of the paper describing the results. ” Meteorologists have detected sudden warming of the pole, but on Earth, this effect is very short-term. This phenomenon on Saturn is longer-lived because we’ve been seeing hints of it in our data for at least two years.”

The puzzle isn’t that Saturn’s south pole is warm; after all, it has been exposed to 15 years of continuous sunlight, having just reached its summer Solstice in late 2002. But both the distinct boundary of a warm polar vortex some 30 degrees latitude from the southern pole and a very hot “tip” right at the pole were completely unexpected.

“ If the increased southern temperatures are solely the result of seasonality, then the temperature should increase gradually with increasing latitude, but it doesn’t,” added Dr. Orton. “ We see that the temperature increases abruptly by several degrees near 70 degrees south and again at 87 degrees south.”

The abrupt temperature changes may be caused by a concentration of sunlight-absorbing particulates in the upper atmosphere which trap in heat at the stratosphere. This theory explains why the hot spot appears dark in visible light and contains the highest measured temperatures on the planet. However, this alone does not explain why the particles themselves are constrained to the general southern part of Saturn and particularly to a compact area near the tip of Saturn’s south pole. Forced downwelling of relatively dry air would explain this effect, which is consistent with other observations taken of the tropospheric clouds, but more observations are needed.

More details may be forthcoming from an infrared spectrometer on the joint NASA/ESA Cassini mission which is currently orbiting Saturn. The Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) measures continuous spectral information spanning the same wavelengths as the Keck observations, but the two experiments are expected to complement each other. Between March and May in 2005, the CIRS instrument on Cassini will be able to look at the south polar region in detail for the first time. The discovery of the hot spot at Saturn’s south pole has prompted the CIRS science team, one of whom is Dr. Orton, to spend more time looking at this area.

” One of the obvious questions is whether Saturn’s north pole is anomalously cold and whether a cold polar vortex has been established there,” added Dr. Orton. “This is a question that can only be answered by the Cassini’s CIRS experiment in the near term, as this region can not be seen from Earth using ground-based instruments.”

Observations of Saturn were taken in the imaging mode of the Keck Long Wavelength Spectrometer (LWS) on February 4, 2004. Images were obtained at 8.00 microns, which is sensitive to stratospheric methane emission, and also at 17.65 and 24.5 microns, which is sensitive to temperatures at various layers in Saturn’s upper troposphere. The full image of the planet was mosaicked from many sets of individual exposures.

Future work observing Saturn will include more high-resolution thermal imaging of Saturn, particularly due to the fact that the larger polar vortex region may change in the next few years. The team has also discovered other phenomena which could be time dependent and are best characterized by imaging instruments at Keck, such as a series of east-west temperature oscillations, most prominently near 30 degrees south. These effects appear to be unrelated to anything in Saturn’s relatively featureless visible cloud system, but the variability is reminiscent of east-west temperature waves in Jupiter which move very slowly compared to the rapid jets tracked by cloud motions.

Funding for this research was provided by NASA’s Office of Space Sciences and Applications, Planetary Astronomy Discipline, and the NASA Cassini project. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C.

The W.M. Keck Observatory is operated by the California Association for Research in Astronomy, a non-profit scientific partnership of the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and NASA.

Canadian Space News


April 20th, 2007

H.R. MacMillan
Science Centre
Vancouver, B.C.

The maple leaf on Mars
The maple leaf on Mars

The Maple Leaf on Mars!

Canada will land on the surface of another planet for the first time when Phoenix, an international mission to Mars, touches down in 2008. Slated for launch on August 3, 2007, Phoenix will dig beneath Mars’s surface in search of ice – in search of life. Two Canadian instruments on board Phoenix will study Mars’s weather and climate to pave the way for future exploration missions.

Join the Canadian Space Agency’s Dr. Victoria Hipkin at the H.R. MacMillan Science Centre at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 20, 2007, for a special presentation on this exciting mission. Try a space science experiment at the Canadian Space Agency’s information booth. Learn everything you ever wanted to know about the Red Planet, and why the world’s scientists want to explore it.

The Phoenix mission is led by the University of Arizona, with Canadian expertise from a wide range of partners in universities and industry from many regions of the country: York University, the University of Alberta, Dalhousie University, the Geological Survey of Canada, MDA and Optech.

For more information visit or

The conquest of space has been a dream of humans for centuries. Only in the last five decades however, have we had the technology to explore the cosmos. Until recently, this technology has been limited to only a few countries, including the United States, which leads the world. Lately though, Canada, too, has been gaining a foothold in space science.

Canadian scientists and engineers have made a series of important contributions to space missions, like Radarsat, the robotic Canadarms for the space shuttle and the International Space Station, and the MOST space telescope, just to name a few. Now, under the auspices of its own space agency, Canada is partnering with other countries to help explore the Red Planet. In its latest project, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is collaborating with NASA on its next Mars lander, called Phoenix, scheduled for launch in 2007. Hopes are high that the Canadian maple leaf will soon be seen on Mars.

As the Mars Program lead at CSA, Dr. Alain Berinstain (pictured above) acts as the link between the scientific community and research and development teams in government and industry. He is also responsible for science missions that explore the planets (including Mars), Mars-analog sites on Earth, and astronomy missions. Berinstain has a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biochemistry and a doctorate in chemistry, specializing in the effects of radiation on biological systems. As adjunct professor at University of Guelph, he also conducts research into environmental controls systems for greenhouses in extreme environments. We interviewed him via telephone last week.




New Mexico – Creationists get sneaker, but they loose anyways. If enacted, HB 506 (and its counterpart Senate Bill 371) would have required the state department of education to adopt rules allowing teachers strengths and weaknesses” of any “theory of biological origins” taught, and allowing students to “reach their own conclusions about biological origins.”  If enacted, HJM 14 (and its counterpart Senate Joint Memorial 9) would have in effect asked the state department of education to comply with the requirements of HB 506 and SB 371, claiming (among other things) that “many credentialed scientists challenge certain aspects of evolutionary theory.”
[ed note: they never provide the lists of non-creationist scientists, because there aren’t any.]

Before the bills died, Dave Thomas’s op-ed “Intelligent design supporters find new, creative ways to get their message out” appeared in the March 13, 2007, issue of the Albuquerque Tribune.  Thomas commented, “The measures would have also have given students the ‘right and freedom to reach their own conclusions about biological origins.’  We don’t encourage students to “reach their own conclusions” on how to add fractions.  Why should we suddenly do so with the biosciences?  Make no mistake, the only academic freedom involved in these measures is the freedom to teach creationism in science class,” adding, “Creationists aren’t going away.  They’re just getting sneakier.”

Upgrading the RavenNuke – ver 2.1 is released!

I’ve upgraded 4 sites in the past couple of weeks … tons of work, but it is so worth it.  Finally, after years of treading water in the nuke darkness, here is a cms with logic, clarity, security and a heart.
RavenNuke 2.1 Rocks!  KISS works.

I’ve also had the opportunity to give Joomla another go around on the server.   Joomla is hugely popular. Joomla is slick, but it would be a huge learning curve for me.  And for what? for popularity?  Certainly not for security and clarity. 

Rock On Raven!


We passed! And now the really interesting stuff begins.

My call sign:  Victor Alpha Seven Echo Echo Foxtrot

You know we’ve been missing lately,  the reason is: our radio learning curve, the exam was yesterday. 
We passed! And aced it! We got our Canadian Amateur Basic with Honors.  So, we can play in the High Frequency. As we are already too busy, you might wonder why amateur radio? Because communications are an important component of our Emergency Preparedness interest.  Eventually, we would like to join City of Victoria, Amateur Communication Service.  (And, the possible connection with Space Station on a sighted pass is cool too.)  From learning a little, we have a large new interest.   We await Industry Canada to do the paperwork and we dream of the perfect mobile station.

All of us like to be proven RIGHT

My 2$
Er, not exactly.  Many warm, dry, well fed and well loved humans enjoy the exploration of ideas. If one answer inevitably leads to another question, and therefore more exploration, then all is good. Daily exploration practice builds the process of relationships without bringing negativity into the circle.

Evidence of pain … it’s very subjective, sometimes all the positive energy on the planet isn’t enough to stop the tears.  My subjective observation of our community sees a tad lack of positive energy on several levels.  Healing in this environment isn’t going to be easy.

OMG! It’s a negative thought and then our ego takes it personally, and *then* … we want to be right and some begin to gather the troops….

Generally, men seem to not take exploration of “it’s only an idea” so personally. imho, (in my humble observation) our community tends to practice some kind of strange communication about ideas, about exploration. It may be some way of isolating any diversity?  We don’t tolerate it well?  What’s up with that?

Could needing to be right, a psuedo-comfort, be an analogy to sticking your head in the mud?

Blog On!

Turing Award – First Woman Wins

A 40 year male tradition is broken!
A. M. Turing Award
– !

Frances Allen
Frances Allen

Frances Elizabeth “Fran” Allen (born 1932) is an American computer scientist and pioneer in the field of optimizing compilers. Her achievements include seminal work in compilers, code optimizati

on, and parallelization. She was the first female IBM Fellow and first female Turing Award winner.
— Wikipedia

ACM’s most prestigious technical award is accompanied by a prize of $100,000. It is given to an individual selected for contributions of a technical nature made to the computing community. The contributions should be of lasting and major technical importance to the computer field. Financial support of the Turing Award is provided by the Intel Corporation.

Spitzer Cracks the Light of Faraway Worlds

NASA’s Spitzer First To Crack Open Light of Faraway Worlds

For Release: February 21, 2007

Spitzer captures light from planets outside our solar system
Spitzer captures light from planets outside our solar system

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has captured for the first time enough light from planets outside our solar system, known as exoplanets, to identify signatures of molecules in their atmospheres. The landmark achievement is a significant step toward being able to detect possible life on rocky exoplanets and comes years before astronomers had anticipated.

“This is an amazing surprise,” said Spitzer project scientist Dr. Michael Werner of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “We had no idea when we designed Spitzer that it would make such a dramatic step in characterizing exoplanets.”

Spitzer, a space-based infrared telescope, obtained the detailed data, called spectra, for two different gas exoplanets. Called HD 209458b and HD 189733b, these so-called “hot Jupiters” are, like Jupiter, made of gas, but orbit much closer to their suns.


In amateur radio, QRP operation means transmitting at reduced power levels. The term QRP derives from the Q code where “QRP?” was used to mean, “Should I reduce Power?”.

I knew there was a way through to my green ethics. Communications Rock.

Wikipedia – QRP
QRPedia wiki
External Links:

PHP Rocks

I had a great time at the Vancouver PHP conference last week.  Eventually I settled down and tried not to get overwhelmed by the learning experience.

Would be nice to have …

Vancouver PHP 2008
5 minute Flash sessions in the theater
Show me my faults sessions … mentor/newbie gatherings
More hot water.
Women on the expert panel.
Brunch at the beach.

Kudos to all the organizers.  I know it ain’t easy. You rocked.

Celia Franca Dies

Celia Franca
Celia Franca

Celia Franca was the founder of The National Ballet of Canada in 1951 and its Artistic Director for 24 years. I first met Celia Franca in the early 60’s. I had been chosen among my classmates at the National Ballet School to perform in the new production of the Nutcracker Suite.  She was an amazing woman, totally in control of everything.  Yes, I feared her.  I’ll never forget the Saturday morning I walked into rehearsal after spending a night in the hospital due to having burned my hand on an old school stove the day before. We had been making Christmas candles.  So there I was, at rehearsal, with a bandage on my hand that looked more like a boxing glove than anything else.  Ms Franca was horrified, but rather than call in an understudy, and leave me in the wings, she called in the costume mistress who materialized gloves, to be worn by all the girl children for the schedule of performances.  She was feared, but she was so compassionate too.

” In 1967 Miss Franca was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada and in 1985 was made a Companion of the Order of Canada. In 1987 she received the St. George’s Society of Toronto Award and that same year was among the first to be honoured with the Order of Ontario. She served as a member of the board of governors of York University, the board of directors of the Canada Council and the Board of Directors of the Canada Dance Festival Society.”

Get Ready

New left-side News Block:   10 recent local quakes.  My City of Victoria provides free EP courses.  E and I will personally recommend you take all of them.  Then be a block captain, get organized, be prepared.

Go here.

Ver 2

Raven Nuke 76
Raven Nuke 76

The sun is shining, the days are longer, 2007 is a turn it around year.
lol … as if moving through space wasn’t already happening.

New CoreWare for!


RavenNuke so rocks the cms planet.


The sun is shining again, and the garden needs work…

Stereo Sun

Stereo Sun
Stereo Sun

They’re the Solar TerrEstrial RElations Observatories (STEREO… get it?), and they were lofted into orbit on October 25

Green Philosophy

Climate change unites science and religion     
* 17:29 17 January 2007    
* news service

Laying down their swords over how we came to exist, leaders from scientific and evangelical communities in the US joined forces today in an unprecedented effort to protect what we have.
Speaking at a press conference in Washington DC, members of the newly formed group expressed concerns about planetary threats caused by humans including climate change, habitat destruction, pollution, and species extinction.


Security is a process, not a result. It is a process which is difficult to adopt under normal conditions; the problem is compounded when it spans several job descriptions. All the system level security in the world is rendered useless by insecure web-applications. The converse is also true; programming best practices, such as always verifying user input, are useless when the code is running on a server which hasn’t been properly hardened. Securing forward facing GNU/Linux web servers can seem like a daunting task, but it can be made much easier by breaking the process into manageable portions.” Hardening Linux Servers

Just Say No by Nancy

Re: “go home and bake cookies”  or 
“don’t worry your pretty little head”

So what would be a ‘male’ version of “go bake cookies”? “Go home and mow the lawn or take out the garbage?” Just doesn’t have the same bite to it, probably because a lot of women also do these things.

It doesn’t have the same bite because it doesn’t have the same kind of subtext.  Telling a woman to go home and bake cookies has nothing to do with cookies.  I don’t care how good your cookies are, it’s an insult to say this. He’s telling her to leave the man work to him, that she should leave and return to the home and kitchen where women belong.  He’s telling her that she has no place there. …

This is such a much larger topic, and whenever someone posts something along these lines, we all jump on it, I think, because we’re all affected by it.  The pretty little head and go home and bake statements are the hardest part of my job.  They happen. Or what about the topic that came up about a month ago about the company that had invitation-only golf days, and only the men were invited?  There are so many things like this.

In one place I worked, there were 10 guys in a group of 12.  Us girls were expected to hang together while the guys went off in their own groups. On one hand, there was no reason for me to expect to be invited to go to lunch and hang out with this group of 20-something white boys, but because they did hang together and talk shop when they were at lunch and whatnot, they were all pretty much on the same page about work stuff and we two women were not.  There was simply no way in.

So, I switched jobs. I’ve switched jobs three times in the last seven years, and I run into it everywhere.  The women don’t get promoted. There are guys at every company who are arrogant and exclusive.

I think the solution is two-pronged.  Increase our ranks whenever we can. Encourage girls to get into technology fields so that we’re not so outnumbered.  And second, have zero tolerance for the arrogant, exclusive behavior we are the targets of. Zero tolerance.