Archive for March 2013

“The Word Of Your Head Wolf Is Law! ~ Obey!!”   75 comments

 

The Law Of The Jungle by Rudyard Kipling

Poetry Classics

Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay on December 30th 1865, son of John Lockwood Kipling, an artist and teacher of architectural sculpture, and his wife Alice. His mother was one of the talented and beautiful Macdonald sisters, four of whom married remarkable men, Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Sir Edward Poynter, Alfred Baldwin, and John Lockwood Kipling himself.

The Law of the Jungle 

Now this is the Law of the Jungle — as old and as true as the sky; And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.
As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back —
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.

The Law of the Jungle_The strength of the Wolf is the Pack 

Wash daily from nose-tip to tail-tip; drink deeply, but never too deep; 

And remember the night is for hunting, and forget not the day is for sleep.
The Jackal may follow the Tiger, but, Cub, when thy whiskers are grown,
Remember the Wolf is a Hunter — go forth and get food of thine own.
Keep peace with the Lords of the Jungle — the Tiger, the Panther, and Bear.
And trouble not Hathi the Silent, and mock not the Boar in his lair.

When Pack meets with Pack in the Jungle, and neither will go from the trail,
Lie down till the leaders have spoken — it may be fair words shall prevail.
When ye fight with a Wolf of the Pack, ye must fight him alone and afar,
Lest others take part in the quarrel, and the Pack be diminished by war.

The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge, and where he has made him his home,
Not even the Head Wolf may enter, not even the Council may come.
The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge, but where he has digged it too plain,
The Council shall send him a message, and so he shall change it again.

If ye kill before midnight, be silent, and wake not the woods with your bay,
Lest ye frighten the deer from the crop, and your brothers go empty away.
Ye may kill for yourselves, and your mates, and your cubs as they need, and ye can;
But kill not for pleasure of killing, and seven times never kill Man!

And the strength of the Pack is the Wolf 
If ye plunder his Kill from a weaker, devour not all in thy pride;
Pack-Right is the right of the meanest; so leave him the head and the hide.
The Kill of the Pack is the meat of the Pack. Ye must eat where it lies;
And no one may carry away of that meat to his lair, or he dies.

The Kill of the Wolf is the meat of the Wolf. He may do what he will;
But, till he has given permission, the Pack may not eat of that Kill.
Cub-Right is the right of the Yearling. From all of his Pack he may claim
Full-gorge when the killer has eaten; and none may refuse him the same.

Cub-Right is the right of the yearling_Lair-Right is the right of the Mother

Lair-Right is the right of the Mother. From all of her year she may claim
One haunch of each kill for her litter, and none may deny her the same.
Cave-Right is the right of the Father — to hunt by himself for his own:
He is freed of all calls to the Pack; he is judged by the Council alone.

Because of his age and his cunning, because of his gripe and his paw,
In all that the Law leaveth open, the word of your Head Wolf is Law.
Now these are the Laws of the Jungle, and many and mighty are they;
But the head and the hoof of the Law and the haunch and the hump is — Obey!

The head and the hoof of the Law - OBEY!!!

Alien Sunsets   33 comments

Watching the sunset on another world 150 light years from Earth….

What would it look like?

Osiris

HD 209458 b (Osiris) is a large exoplanet or extrasolar planet that orbits the Sun-like star HD 209458 in the constellation Pegasus, some 150 light-years from Earth’s solar system. First discovered on November 5, 1999 during “Spectroscopic studies.”

Osiris_HD 209458bOsiris

Osiris is a 7th magnitude world, visible from Earth with good binoculars or a decent telescope. Osiris (HD209458b), 150 Ly from Earth orbits very closely to its sun. Measured by the Spitzer Infrared Space Telescope on March 23. 2005 it had an atmospheric temperature of around 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,800 degrees Fahrenheit) it’s year lasts just 3.5 Earth days long. Very bad for the aging process!

Osiris Firsts:

First PrizeHD 209458 b was the first transiting extrasolar planet discovered:

  • Known to have an atmosphere
  • Observed to have an evaporating hydrogen atmosphere
  • Found to have an atmosphere containing oxygen and carbon
  • One of the first two extrasolar planets to be directly spectroscopically observed
  • The first extrasolar planet found to have water vapour in its atmosphere. (April 2007)

(Sunset On HD 189733 – Osiris)

Sunset on HD209458b (reconstructed from the HST/STIS transmission spectrum): Image: Frederic Pont of the University of Exeter: based on data form a camera on-board the Hubble Space Telescope)

Osiris doesn’t actually have as surface on which to sit peacefully watching an alien sunset but for the purposes of this post we will pretend it does. What it does have however is an atmosphere, which when passed through by the light from its star (sun) – it does this every so often when Osiris passes between Earth and its own sun (transits)– allows the scientific types here on sunny Earth to figure out in a scientific way mostly beyond the understanding of the average Earthling, exactly which colours its sun would set in, should Osiris have a surface – as already stated it doesn’t but… and we were spending a happily romantic evening sitting on the (make-believe) surface.

I said it HASN’T got one!!! So don’t try it!! It won’t be any good for you!!

In the image to the right Osiris’s sunset can be seen as it would appear if having travelled at light speed to reach it, you were floating 6,200 miles/10,000 km above the planetary surface – preferably not in a deckchair unless you’re wearing a heavy duty space suit 😉 a space station would do nicely.

Floating 6,200 miles above the planetary surface...The Osirisian sun- HD 209458– it’s star, is, much like Earth’s Sun, white – yes I know…The Sun is yellow…but if there was no atmosphere it would look white – not that we would see it because without an atmosphere life on Earth would have survived for approx. 20 seconds before exploding into instant extinction.

An alien sunset on Osiris really does look alien – unlike Earth’s. Osiris’s atmosphere consists of sodium which when starlight (sunlight) zips through it, absorbs the red light. (think prisms and colours of rainbows when white light is split) This results in the remaining starlight appearing blue. It makes perfectly good sense if you were paying attention in your school science lessons. If you weren’t then it’s your own fault and you should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself!!

As back home on Earth the blue light from the star is scattered (“Rayleigh scattering,” a mechanism also responsible for the Earth’s sky being blue) creating a progressive change through the blue end of the spectrum through to a pretty green and later a deep, dark shade of green as its star dips further beneath the horizon.

The more sensible approach to watching the Osirian sunset...In such colours you should be able to get a good view of Osiris’s sun without going instantly blind in which case you will notice it looks oddly flat around the southern half. The same effect occurs when we watch the sun setting from Earth. This is the consequence of diffraction (light bending) and nothing to worry about..

Osiris, Eygptian god of the Underworld_Credit Jeff DahlWhilst you are relaxing in the Osirisian sunset you can reflect on the little snippet of mythology attached to it’s title… Osiris was an Egyptian god, usually identified as the god of the afterlife, the underworld and the dead. He was classically depicted as a green-skinned man with a pharaoh’s beard, partially mummy-wrapped at the legs, wearing a distinctive crown with two large ostrich feathers at either side, and holding a symbolic crook and flail. His green skin is symbolic of new birth. This image is based on New Kingdom tomb paintings.

    

      AND FOR COMPARISION PURPOSES, THE SUNSET ON HD 189733 b

    Sunset on HD 189733 bSunset on HD 189733 b looks like an especially awesome Earth sunset when the sky is very clear and there is only a small amount of dust in the atmosphere. HD 189733 b is much closer to its star (sun) than Earth is to our Sun so its star looks considerably bigger 25 times larger than Earth’s sun when viewed at sunset compared.

Soaking up the atmosphere on HD 189733b

HD 189733 b’s sun is orange and nowhere near as hot as Earth’s Sun and consequently is coloured orange as oppose to the white of our Sun. Instead of undergoing a gradual change of colour as it sets, this alien sun transforms straight from its original orange colour to deepest red in the thick layers of the lower atmosphere.

Jupiter and HD 189733 b size comparison

HD 189733b discovered in 2005 is an extrasolar planet of similar size to Jupiter. It orbits a star (it’s sun) in a binary system called HD 189733 in the constellation of Vulpecula in two Earth days. The aging process on this world would be terribly fast in our terms and those wrinkles would appear in a frighteningly super-smart short time!! The star system itself one of the closest planet-star systems known making it extremely hot. It is located near the Dumbell Nebula, approximately 62 light years from Earth and is known as a “Hot Jupiter.”

HD 189733 and M27, the Dumbbell Nebula. Credit: Daniel Jaroschik

HD 189733b shares many similar characteristics as HD 209458b (a.k.a. “Osiris) Although HD 189733b’s atmosphere isn’t thought to be evaporating like Osiris’, atmospheric gases extend far beyond it and out into space. This is significant in that starlight can also pass through meaning that scientists have been able to figure out that the atmosphere contains water and methane resulting in the probability that HD 189733b may have a blue hue, reminiscent of Uranus.

The atmosphere also contains iron, silicate and aluminium oxide particles. These would seem to collect in HD 189733b’s upper atmosphere, forming a thin, hazy, reflective cloud in the exosphere. This leads to the natural conclusion that the weather on HD 189733b is hot and cloudy.

Thanks to the Spitzer telescope it was discovered in February 2007 for the first time that the atmosphere of exoplanet HD 209458b (Osiris) is relatively dry, thick and dusty. Osiris even contains grains of sand (silicates).

Exoplanet

Although it is not suitable for the existence of alien life it is an exciting step on the road to discovery of such worlds.

Sources:

PhysOrg.com

Prof. Frédéric Pont

ExoClimes.com

Japan Nuclear And Earthquake-Tsunami Disaster Anniversary: 2011~2013   39 comments

Japan Nuclear Disaster And Earthquake-Tsunami 2011~2013

“I bowed and begged them to stay…”

Two years ago today the Japanese people were reeling from the nightmare of the 8.9-magnitude earthquake – the most powerful one ever recorded in Japan, and the 30-foot wave tsunami that crashed as much as 6 miles inshore on March 11 2011; It was a nightmare that killed in the region of 20,000 people and triggered the world’s worst nuclear crisis since the Chernobyl disaster 27 years ago.

Fukushima Nuclear Plant...Remembering...

Whilst the atomic accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant did not actually claim any lives it has left tens of thousands of people driven from their homes in a mass evacuation and reduced whole towns to an uninhabitable state as a consequence of the dangerous radiation levels. A situation that will probably last for many decades to come.

                     Fukushima-radiation-could-be-ocean-risk  Japanese Evacuees  Contamination

A report compiled by America’s Institute of Nuclear Power Operations highlights the heroism of workers at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in the disaster’s aftermath, which saw three reactors go into full nuclear meltdown…

“The plant’s back-up generators also failed, leaving most of the facility with no power. Workers struggled to cool the overheating reactors in ‘complete darkness’ while hundreds of aftershocks rocked the area, including two of greater than 7.0 magnitude. The workers persisted in their efforts despite ‘elevated and continuously changing dose rates and contamination levels,’ the report said. Food shortages meant they were given only a biscuit for breakfast and a bowl of noodles for dinner. Many slept on the floor. Some of the workers had lost their homes and families to the tsunami, but continued to toil at the crippled nuclear plant. Some operators volunteered to perform dangerous jobs, the report notes, while many had no formal training for the tasks they were attempting. They relied on "creativity" and "unconventional or unique methods to deal with ‘conditions that were beyond the design basis for the station.’ “ ~ America’s Institute of Nuclear Power Operations

Reactor Explosions and Fires

No. 2 reactor at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant suffered an explosion when cooling systems in the Unit failed and pressure inside the reactor soared. Reactor Units Nos. 1 and 3 were blasted by hydrogen explosions which blew the roof off No. 1 unit and tore No 3 reactor apart, and a fire broke out in reactor No. 4 spent fuel storage pond.

                  

  No 4 reactor building Fukushima  FukDaic1 Reactor building covered by steel frame

Masao Yoshida then Fukushima Daiichi plant chief told state broadcaster NHK: "In the first week immediately after the accident I thought a few times ‘I’m going to die.”

Making reference to the explosion of hydrogen that ripped the buildings around rectors 1 and 3 to shreds, he added: "I thought it was all over.”

In a provisional report released by the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) Masao described how he was forced to face the fact that they had a full blown disaster on their hands “When lights flickered and went out, including those on the control panels.”

fukushima-control-reactor

"I came to realise a tsunami had hit the site as one of the workers rushed into the room, shouting ‘Sea water is gushing in!’ I felt totally at a loss after losing power sources. Other workers appeared anxious. They argued, and one asked: ‘Is there any reason for us to be here when there is nothing we can do to control (the reactors)?’ I bowed and begged them to stay.

As immobilised electrical and cooling systems at the nuclear power plant ground to a halt the largely unsung heroes – the heroic plant workers – in a terrifyingly high risk situation took life-threatening health risks in a desperate, punishing bid to prevent a worse nuclear disaster.

The beleaguered, under fire operator of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant released accounts from the plant workers’ themselves describing some of their most desperate moments as they struggled and fought to bring the stricken nuclear plant under control…

                No 4 reactor at Fuk Dai plant  Fukushima 11 March 2012 Credit Reuters_Kyodo 

  • Overwhelming challenges as workers endeavoured to manually open a ventilation valve in a vital effort to discharge pressure from a reactor container.

"We put on the full protection gear but couldn’t possibly let young workers do the task, as we had to go into an area where the radiation levels were high. When I got to the place to open the valve, I heard eerie, deep popping noise from the torus (a donut-shaped structure at the bottom of the reactor). When I put one of my feet on the torus to reach the valve, my black rubber boot melted and slipped (due to the heat).” one worker recalled.

  • Dire working conditions as they strove relentlessly to combat the dangerously unstable and crippled nuclear plant.

"We experienced big aftershocks, and many times we had to run up a hill in desperation (fearing a tsunami) with the full-face mask still on,” one worker said.

  • Race against time to set down power cables and reinstate the electric supply:

"We finished the work (in one section) in several hours, although it usually requires one month or two. It was an operation we had to do in puddles, fearing electrification,” the worker said.

  • Explosions and fires at the plant give a free rein to the release of critically hazardous radiation levels, compelling TEPCO to evacuate all but a handful of brave and desperately needed workers, out of a nuclear workforce of hundreds.

                   Fukushima Nuclear Plant Workers  Credit: Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO): radioactive water on the floor inside the building of a water treatment facility at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.  Fukushima No2 Reactor torus room_Credit: REUTERS

Those workers became known as the "The Fukushima Fifty”, but the final numbers of workers risking lives and health to join the battle increased by thousands who were also joined by partner company technicians, the likes of Toshiba and Hitachi.

They undertook the commission of ensuring the steady flow of cooling water streaming into the six plant reactors, three of which none-the-less were later to undergo overheating and ultimate melted down.

Cooling System Failures at Japan’s Power Plants

“Reactors 1, 2 and 3 experienced a full meltdown in the wake of an earthquake and tsunami in March” ~ Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters (Japan}

“Nuclear fuel rods in reactors 2 and 3 probably melted during the first week of the nuclear crisis whilst fuel rods at the heart of reactor No. 1 melted almost completely in the first 16 hours after the disaster struck.”

A time to remember...2011~2013Fukushima Explosion

“We Came Close To Losing Northern Japan”

~Tokyo Electric Power Co.

Angola’s Maximum Security Wolf-Dogs Patrolling!   39 comments

 

Wolf-Dogs On Patrol!

Guard Duty At Angola Maximum Security Prison!

The consequences of mismanagement of dogs and irresponsible ownership often due to a lack of general knowledge of animal care and ignorance about the breed they own can be very serious, with the potential to lead to euthanasia for the offending animal.

Angola's Wolf Dogs

Credit: Rush Jagoe for the Wall Street Journal

Wolf-dog “Chief “of British Colombia wolf and German shepherd ancestry is a prime example of when things go wrong and an animal is allowed to get out of control.

According to local residents Chief would frequently “escape from his owners’ property and terrorize them.” A Pointe Coupee Parish ‘Animal Control Ordinance’ states that: All dogs must be confined to an owner’s property, or secured on a leash when they are not.”

The result of these allegations was a court order for his destruction for aggressive behaviour. Chief was lucky. His story made the papers and was seen by state Prison Officials at the 18,000-acre maximum security prison known as Angola -the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections State Penitentiary at Angola. Their request to use Chief as a guard dog at Angola was approved, and an order releasing him from custody was signed by Judge James Best of 18th Judicial District Court..

Angola’s Prison Warden

“When we saw this dog in the paper, we thought it would be a shame to euthanize it.” ~Deputy Warden Bruce Dodd .

Angola which has 5,300 inmates. More than half who have been convicted of killing someone, and three quarters whom are serving life sentences without parole.

The state prison has developed a program which since 2011 has used wolf-dogs such as Chief deployed at night to patrol within perimeter fencing encircling the prison’s individual camps. The wolf dogs regularly guard at least three of the seven camps that make up the complex.

Combined with the use of surveillance cameras, the program has helped secure the prison following personnel layoffs related to recent budget cuts 105 out of 1,200 officers have been cut and 35 of the 42 guard towers now stand empty on the 18,000-acre prison grounds. Some states have chosen to replace them with cameras and motion sensors.

"I will use anything I can, it costs $20,000 a day to catch an escapee. It may take me 100 people to cover the streams and creeks and roads. I have to pay all those people overtime. The wolf dogs are a strong psychological deterrent. The wolf ate Grandma," ~ Warden Burl Cain

They also save money. “The average correctional officer at Angola earns about $34,000 a year, By comparison the canine program, which includes about 80 dogs—the wolf hybrids along with other breeds for other tasks— costs about $60,000 annually for medical care, supplies and food.” ~ prison spokesman

The Breeding Programme

“We actually breed wolf hybrids here and raise them. Chief’s aggressive behaviour would make him a perfect fit among the dozen or more wolf dog hybrids already on duty at the prison. That’s the purpose of them. We don’t want them to be vicious killers, but to be aggressive. They become a security measure.” ~Dodd

Before being allowed out on patrol Chief will undergo training with a handler.

Prison Dogs on Patrol in Angola2

Credit: Rush Jagoe for the Wall Street Journal

However according to Chief’s original owner, he has lived with herself and her son, who he was purchased for at 5 weeks old, and has been raised and cared for by, and whilst she is very happy Chief is now off death row, says;

“He’s not going to do well without us. We’re his family. I think he’s going to be really, really stressed. We keep him inside our air-conditioned home. I feed him oatmeal for breakfast. You think they’re going to feed him that?” ~ Vicky Smith

The understanding between Angola and the court, says all of the prison’s dogs are “well kept and given top veterinarian care.”

“Chief is harmless and has never “bit or hurt anyone. It’s not right what they’re doing. I was going to sell my house and move out of the parish to keep my dog. I want my dog back, but once he goes to Angola I don’t think I’ll get him.” ~ Vicky Smith

Notable Wolf-dogs of the Breeding Programme

  • Full-blooded timber wolf -Sanak, (Su-nack,) is the mother of the vast majority of Angola’s Wolf-dogs, and her current mate, Zeus-the German Shepherd Dog is kennelled next to her.

This is Mr. Cain’s second attempt at developing a breeding programme after a first and unsuccessful experimental breeding program in 2005. This had involved breeding Lobo – a Mexican wolf with dogs to produce tracker dogs to re-capture escapee prisoners. But they proved unpredictable and had little interest in protecting their handlers. 2008’s Hurricane Gustav freed Lobo to flee after a damaged tree smashed into his kennel.

  • Wolf is a 120-pound amber eyed canine cross between a wolf and a malamute:

“Wolf is the biggest of the hybrids. He showed his speed and predatory nature recently when a wild turkey flew into the pen; he caught and killed it before it could get back out.” ~Warden Burl Cain.

Training and Patrolling

“Each animal has about 330 yards of territory and can cover it ‘very quickly’. The animals mark their territory when put on duty.

“Nobody yet has tried to overpower or outrun them. Inmates are keenly aware of the four-legged security force prowling the perimeter.” ~ Lou Cruz, 55 years old, serving life for a murder he committed in Jefferson Parish near Gretna in 1981.

You might run but they’re going to catch you.” ~ Daryl Aucoin, Inmate dog handler

Prison Dogs on Patrol in Angola Credit: Rush Jagoe for the Wall Street Journal

”How do you train a wolf dog? Very carefully and with lots of hot dogs. It takes a lot of time. Wolves are like other canines. They’re pack animals. And they are slow to trust. Unlike other dogs, which might listen to any number of handlers, the wolf dogs "will listen to only one of us," ~ Capt. Robert Tyler, the primary trainer.

“I’m just glad for the dog. It’s a beautiful ending and the community got some relief. The dog is going to provide good service and be well taken care of.”~ Judge James Best of 18th Judicial District Court after signing the order to release Chief to Angola.

Sources:

Wall Street Journal

Westside Bureau

U.S. News