What had happened was a plasma blast from the sun was distorting the photons of light and shifting them around like bowling pins. I had never seen anything like it before.
On July 23, 2012, the sun unleashed two massive clouds of plasma that barely missed a catastrophic encounter with the Earth's atmosphere.
These plasma clouds, known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), comprised a solar storm thought to be the most powerful in at least 150 years.
"If it had hit, we would still be picking up the pieces," physicist Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado tells NASA. Fortunately, the blast site of the CMEs was not directed at Earth. Had this event occurred a week earlier when the point of eruption was Earth-facing, a potentially disastrous outcome would have unfolded.
"Analysts believe that a direct hit could cause widespread power blackouts, disabling everything that plugs into a wall socket. Most people wouldn't even be able to flush their toilet because urban water supplies largely rely on electric pumps. ...
According to a study by the National Academy of Sciences, the total economic impact could exceed $2 trillion, or 20 times greater than the costs of a Hurricane Katrina.
Multi-ton transformers damaged by such a storm might take years to repair." Steve Tracton put it this way in his frightening overview of the risks of a severe solar storm: "The consequences could be devastating for commerce, transportation, agriculture and food stocks, fuel and water supplies, human health and medical facilities, national security, and daily life in general."
This race boils down to who has the most cash and who hires the better lobbyist...
Two cities—Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Wilson, North Carolina—have officially asked the federal government to help them bypass state laws banning them from expanding their community owned, gigabit fiber internet connections.
In states throughout the country, major cable and telecom companies have battled attempts to create community broadband networks, which they claim put them at a competitive disadvantage. The FCC will decide if its able to circumvent state laws that have been put in place restricting the practice.
I actually though about this years ago. I wondered if the bottom of surfboards could be dimpled to achieve greater speeds across the water. I also wondered if cars could be dimpled...
Golfing and cars, not much in common there. But that's about to change thanks to a new technology from a research lab at MIT called Smorphs.
The idea is simple: put a set of dynamic dimples on the exterior of a car to improve its surface aerodynamics and make it slipperier, and therefore faster. Pedro Reis is the mechanical engineering and research spearheading this project.
A while ago Mythbusters proved the validity of the dimpled car form in a much more low-tech way. The concept uses a hollow core surrounded by a thick, deformable layer, and a smoother outer skin. When vacuum is applied, the outer layers suck in to form the dimples.
The technology is only in its very earliest stages, but we could see this applied to future vehicles in an effort to make them faster and more fuel efficient.
The Pacific Ocean is a dangerous place to surf these days...
The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says more than one trillion becquerels of radioactive substances were released as a result of debris removal work at one of the plant's reactors.
Radioactive cesium was detected at levels exceeding the government limit in rice harvested last year in Minami Soma, some 20 kilometers from Fukushima Daiichi. TEPCO presented the Nuclear Regulation Authority with an estimate that the removal work discharged 280 billion becquerels per hour of radioactive substances, or a total of 1.1 trillion becquerels.
The plant is believed to be still releasing an average of 10 million becquerels per hour of radioactive material.
Today we live at the speed of light...
The old saying goes, "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.
" A man learned the consequences Sunday, after Tweeting about his experience with a rude Southwest gate attendant: "A Minnesota man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.
Duff Watson said he was flying from Denver to Minneapolis on Sunday and tried to board in a spot for frequent flyer privileges he held and take his sons, ages 6 and 9, with him, even though they had a later spot to board the plane.
The agent told him that he would have to wait if he wanted to board with his children. Watson replied that he had boarded early with them before and then sent out a tweet that read 'RUDEST AGENT IN DENVER. KIMBERLY S. GATE C39. NOT HAPPY @SWA.'
Watson told TV broadcaster KARE in Minneapolis on Wednesday that after he boarded, an announcement came over the plane asking his family to exit the aircraft.
Once at the gate, the agent said that unless the tweet was deleted, police would be called and the family would not be allowed back onboard." He gave into the threat, deleted the Tweet, and was allowed to board a later flight. Southwest, as one could have predicted, offered a boilerplate "apology" and vouchers.
I don't know about your neighborhood, but here in Costa Mesa the developers are building at an alarming rate. New homes and hugh apartment complexes are appearing all over the place daily.
Our city council has unwisely cut back on police and fire services while allowing the increasing need for such.
But that is not the real problem, it is water.
Where are we going to get more water, in this California drought, for all of the people that will be coming here to fill these new units!?
A new study shows that ground water in the Colorado basin is being depleted six times faster than surface water.
The groundwater losses, which take thousands of years to be recharged naturally, point to the unsustainability of exploding population centers and water-intensive agriculture in the basin, which includes most of Arizona and parts of Colorado, California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Wyoming.
Because ground water feeds many of the streams and rivers in the area, more of them will run dry.
Apple was but now is not the front runner. A large bite is being taken out of the apple. With out the visionary leadership of Steve can they maintain their momentum?
Apple thrilled investors earlier this week when they revealed that they had sold 13 million iPads to schools and claimed 85% of the educational tablet market, but that wasn't the whole story.
It turns out that Apple has only sold 5 million iPads to schools since February 2013, or an average of less than a million tablets a quarter over 6 quarters.
Instead of buying iPads, schools are buying Chromebooks.
Google reported that a million Chromebooks were sold to schools last quarter, well over half of the 1.8 million units sold in the second quarter.
With Android tablets getting better, Apple is losing market share in the consumer tablet market, and now it looks Apple is also losing the educational market to Google.
Analysts are predicting that 5 million Chromebooks will be sold by the end of the year; how many of those will be sold to schools, do you think?
Your keyboard just got better
Would you like to test drive the newest release of the Macintosh operating system?
Apple is opening up the beta for Mac OS X Yosemite starting yesterday to the first million people who sign up.
Beta users won't be able to access such promised Yosemite features such as the ability to make or receive your iPhone calls or text messages on your Mac, turn on your iPhone hotspot feature from your Mac, or "Handoff" the last thing you were doing on your iOS 8 device to your Mac and vice versa.
A new iCloud Drive feature is also off-limits, while any Spotlight search suggestions are U.S.-based only. Don't expect all your Mac apps to run either.
Ars has a preview of Yosemite.
This guy has achieved what few have...LOL!