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Submission + - Lawrence O'Donnell Encourages You to Vote Third Party (

wiegeabo writes: Politcal analyst, and MSNBC host, Lawrence O'Donnell covered the recent 3rd party Presidential Debate on his show "The Last Word". While showing clips from the debate about topics not covered in the main debates, O'Donnell discusses a few of the issues brought up including the drug war and the NDAA. He also discusses the media's bias towards coverage of only the two main parties, how the candidates only focus on key swing states, 'wasting votes', and the connection to low voter turn out.

Especially poignant is his comment, " I have actually voted for the winner of the presidency exactly once, so please don’t try to tell me that voting for a candidate who loses is wasting a vote in a democracy."


Submission + - 1,000,000,000,000 Frames per second camera captures light in motion (

matty619 writes: MIT researcher Ramesh Raskar recently gave a Ted Talk detailing their new ultra high speed camera system that can capture light in motion. The implications for this technology include new medical imaging technologies, as well as the ability to see around corners, as detailed in the video.

Submission + - Mysterious Sprite Photographed by ISS Astronaut (

astroengine writes: "A very rare and beautiful view of a red sprite has been photographed by Expedition 31 astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) hovering just above a bright flash of lightning in a thunderstorm over Myanmar. First documented in a photo in 1989, red sprites are very brief flashes of optical activity that are associated with powerful lightning discharges in storms — although the exact mechanisms that create them aren't yet known. But the orbiting outpost seems like the perfect vantage point to learn more about them!"

Submission + - Astrovideographer captures awesome time lapse imagery of star filled sky (video) (

techfun89 writes: ""The Light of Stars" is a stunning time lapse video from astrovideographer Daniel Lopez. In the video he treats us to several inspiring videos of the night sky and also shows us how he used sliders and cranes to move the cameras themselves, giving the imagery a three-dimensional feel.

The video is taken on the Canary Islands of Spain over a two month period and shows some scenes that include sunset shadows approaching the Observatorio del Tiede, the Milky Way moving as the sky rotates, Venus and Jupiter, a red colored moon that rises through layers of atmospheric refraction and other things like a spider in a web moving in front of the camera. The end of the video shows the Belt of Venus descending on Mt. Teide as the morning sun rises."


Submission + - Vesta is a Baby Planet, Not an Asteroid (

astroengine writes: "Vesta, the second largest object in the main asteroid belt, has an iron core, a varied surface, layers of rock and possibly a magnetic field — all signs of a planet in the making, not an asteroid. This is the conclusion of an international team of scientists treated to a virtual front row seat at Vesta for the past 10 months, courtesy of NASA's Dawn robotic probe. Their findings were presented during a NASA press conference on Thursday. As to why Vesta never made it to full planethood, scientists point to Jupiter. When the giant gas planet formed, nearby bodies such as Vesta found their orbits perturbed. "Jupiter started to act like a spoon in a pot, stirring up the asteroid belt and the asteroids started bumping into one another," Dawn lead scientist Christopher Russell, with the University of California, Los Angeles, told Discovery News. "If they're just out there gently orbiting and everything is going smoothly, then without Jupiter in the picture, they would gather mass and get bigger and bigger and bigger. But with Jupiter there, stirring the pot, then the asteroids start bumping into one another and breaking apart, so nothing grew in that region, but started to shrink.""

Submission + - The Trouble With ACTA: Geist's Analysis of Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (

An anonymous reader writes: Earlier this year, Canadian law professor Michael Geist appeared at the European Parliament's INTA Committee Workshop on ACTA and delivered a ten-minute takedown of the agreement. Geist's full report to the European Parliament has now been released. It conclues that ACTA's harm greatly exceeds its potential benefits and recommends rejecting the agreement in its current form.
United States

Submission + - Blueseed startup ship of dreams has hundreds knocking at its door (

dandv writes: "From VentureBeat,, The Register, Huffington Post, Globe and Mail and others today:

Blueseed is a Silicon Valley company that plans on launching a cruise ship 30 minutes from the coast of California, housing startup entrepreneurs from around the world. These startuppers won't need to bother with US visas, because the ship will be in international waters. They'll have to pay tax to whatever country they're incorporated in, though. So far, 146 startups said they'd like to come to the ship —"


Submission + - Hubble To Use the Moon To View Transit of Venus (

astroengine writes: "On June 5 or 6 this year — the exact time and date depends on where you are in the world — Venus will be visible as a small black circle crossing the disk of the sun. Usually, the Hubble Space Telescope would have no business observing this event — the sun is too close for its optics. But plans are afoot for Hubble to observe the reflected sunlight bouncing off the lunar surface during the transit. As the sunlight will pass through the Venusian atmosphere, the transit will provide invaluable spectroscopic data about Venus' atmospheric composition. This, in turn, will help astronomers in characterizing the atmospheres of planets orbiting other stars."

Submission + - Universities Hold Transcripts Hostage Over Loans

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Dave Lindorff writes in the LA Times that a growing numbers of students are discovering their old school is actively blocking them from getting a job or going on to a higher degree as they refuse to issue an official transcript to send to potential employers or graduate admissions office if students are in default on student loans, or in many cases, even if they just fall one or two months behind. It's no accident that colleges are using the withholding of official transcripts to punish students behind in their loan payments. It turns out the federal government "encourages" them to use the draconian tactic, saying that the policy "has resulted in numerous loan repayments." It is a strange position for colleges to take, writes Lindorff, since the schools themselves are not owed any money as student loan funds come from private banks or the federal government and in the case of so-called Stafford loans, schools are not on the hook in any way; they are simply acting as collection agencies, and in fact may get paid for their efforts at collection. “It’s worse than indentured servitude,” says NYU Professor Andrew Ross, who helped organize the Occupy Student Debt movement last fall. “With indentured servitude, you had to pay in order to work, but then at least you got to work. When universities withhold these transcripts, students who have been indentured by loans are being denied even the ability to work or to finish their education so they can repay their indenture.”"

Submission + - Astronomers find most distant protocluster of galaxies

The Bad Astronomer writes: "Using the monster 8.2 meter Subaru telescope, astronomers have identified the most distant cluster of galaxies ever found: a collection of galaxies at a staggering distance of 12.7 billion light years. This is the most distant cluster ever seen that has been confirmed spectroscopically (PDF). Technically, it's a protocluster, since it's so young — seen only a billion years after the Big Bang itself — the cluster must still be in the process of formation."

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