Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Trayvon Martin Murder

"Trayvon Martin, a 17 year African American youth, star athelete from Sanford, Florida was shot and killed by a white hispanic man while innocently walking too a friends's residence. 911 taps sound Trayvon's screams for help before being murdered. The murderer a Mr. Zimmermann.

Florida's stand your ground law the defense posture Mr. Zimmermann is using which is at best questionable and is equally applicable to the Martin families justification for Trayvon Martin walking through this neighborbood, as phone records indicate he was traveling to visit a friend who resides in the community, and fact that he was approached aggressively by Mr. Zimmermann, in this situation if you were Trayvon Martin would you not stand your ground or run? In the State of Florida the law no longer calls for you to flea if possible but stand your ground. Furthermore Mr. Martin having no weapons, being younger and of smaller stature than Mr. Zimmermann certainly has no quilt in this case. The best alternative defense for Mr. Zimmermann is to plend insanity for having such a grave misperception of his role as simple neighborhood watch volunteer. It is clear Mr. Zimmermann lesser charge is manslaugther. "

Sanford Statistics:


Racist remark or not this idiot killed an
unarmed kid.

9 hours
How can they "stand by their investigation"
when one never took place?

J • 9 hours
Really does it matter what nationality
Zimmerman is? And would it be less ridiculous if this were a white kid from a
rich family? Some idiot (regardless of race) shot and killed an unarmed kid
(regardless of race). They need to jack the jail up and throw him under

San Antonio,
• 9 hours
Put yourself in the shoes of both. One was
an innocent kid going home and the other a paranoid and perhaps mentally ill
self appointed neighborhood watch person. What is clear is that the self
appointed was the aggressor, and the kid also had the right to defend himself.
Zimmerman is guilty of first degree murder, because he confronted and killed an
innocent kid. The situation would be different if the kid was in the act of
committing a crime. BUT HE WAS NOT. If we start to rationalize stupidity or
insanity, we are taking this country down a VERY dangerous

9 hours
I have no clue of the police are racists or
not, but coming from the white male I am, it is clear to me that the police are
freaking idiots if nothing else. For that they should loose their jobs and be
investigated themselves for basic competency.

• 9 hours
This guy needs to have his concealed
handgun license revoked and then eventually do some jail time. He was the
aggressor and instigated the entire situation. Plus he ignored the dispatcher's
instruction on telling him NOT to follow the Martin kid.

• 11 hours
My heart just breaks for this family, How
can police ignore all of this?

• 9 hours
This stinks to high heaven. It looks to me
like this guy, Zimmerman, had an inflated view of his importance as
"neighborhood watchman," and was looking for an excuse to use his gun to show
what a man he was.

• 9 hours
This police department needs to be
investigated and it's Chief of Police fired.

9 hours
The mug shot was the result of an assault
on a police officer! How in hell does he get a carry license after

FrenchyTruth or
Consequences, New Mexico

1 hour 40
minutes ago
So, let me get this straight, if the young
man had been armed and then Zimmerman drew his pistol but the boy was faster and
shot in self defense would THAT have been Ok? In that case could Treyvon have
said "Some guy was following me, then threatened me, drew a gun, so I HAD to
shot him in self-defense"

Ian • 9 hours
Unbelievable story. I hope this Zimmerman
is crapping himself right about

John • 9 hours
When this story first broke, I stated that
we needed to learn the facts before jumping to conclusions. Well the time to
jump to a conclusion is now. This man needs to be in jail. This poor kid was
just picking up some snacks for his younger brother.

Maggie J
9 hours
It says a lot about Zimmerman that the only
photo they have available is a mug shot. So why isn't it being widely reported
yet that this jerk was his own "neighborhood watch," that he had a history of
violence, or that he had called 911 45 times since January?

9 hours
He stalked and murdered an unarmed

wfGreen Bay,
• 9 hours
You hear the 911 calls. On one, Zimmerman
using a racial slur. On another, you hear Trayvon screaming help, then a
gunshot. A cell phone call to his girlfriend saying he's being chased. I'm
sorry, but anyone who is standing up for Zimmerman and thinks there was no
racist intent involved is lying to themselves.

Big AlMedford,
• 9 hours
While serving as a police officer for 15
years I came across several individuals over the years who were "wanna be" cops,
but for one reason or another couldn't cut it. More often than not they were
unsuited for law enforcement because of some sort of mental instability. Many of
these individuals turned to private security or in this case neighborhood watch.
Now arm these unstable persons with a firearm and just wait for an incident such
as this one to happen. Some of them even make it past the screening process and
end up on the force. I worked with one of these individuals once who regularly
talked about shooting someone. Eventually he did in a situation similar to this
one. He was never prosecuted and went on to retire several years later. He was
one of the main reasons I quit the force after 15 years.

• 9 hours
Pathetic excuse for a Police force. I hope
the Feds get involved and charge the whole department with Accessory to

Raymond ScottSacramento, California • 9 hours ago
This is depressing. A 17 year old boy is
dead because of a dude has racial issues. I am glad that I don't have a son that
was killed. I think that I would have totally lost my mind and start seeking
revenge. There is nothing more painful than losing your child. I feel very sorry
for the boy's family. I hope that they will recover from this and move on
without pain. Forgiveness is not an easy thing either. I wish them all the best.
I hope that Zimmerman gets justice - tried, convicted,and sentenced to life in

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Solar Storm Bombards Earth

"It begins on the sun's surface: a broad, hellish plain of boiling 5,700 degree gas. Powerful magnetic fields arc upwards from the surface, rising high into the solar atmosphere to form giant, twisting arcades of energy. Matter streams up these arches to be gripped in a magnetic vise a million miles above the surface. Then something happens. Something shifts. Magnetic lines of force in the arcade snap like steel cables on the bridge to heaven. Billions of tons of solar gas are suddenly blown outward, exploding across interplanetary space. Three days later the shimmering ball of energy smashes head-on into the unsuspecting Earth.

While the paragraph above might sound like the beginning of a bad science fiction movie it's really nothing more than a slightly hyperbolic description of the last three days. The only error in my description of the solar storm that struck us today is that we were not caught unawares. We have been watching the whole time. In that fact lays a deeper truth speaking to much more than solar activity.

Yesterday I received an email from NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center. They had issued a watch for a "geomagnetic storm" associated with a bright flare on the sun Sunday evening. The expectation was that storm would arrive today "with possible impacts to navigation, the power grid and satellites." NOAA says it's the most powerful such event to hit Earth since 2005.

Space weather, as it is called, originates with solar magnetic activity. The sun is a giant spinning ball of charged particles. In addition to its spin, the heat released from the core through nuclear fusion eventually sets the upper layers of the sun into a kind of boiling motion called convection. All that motion — spin and convection — means lots of charged particles streaming this way and that. Since current (the flow of charges) produces magnetic fields, the outer domains of the sun are ruled by magnetism. Magnetic fields are the source of all those cool images of giant flares erupting in planet-spanning arcades of super-hot plasma. It's also the source of so-called Coronal Mass Ejections or CMEs, which are, essentially, the space storms that space weather is all about.

CMEs are eruptions of matter and magnetism from the sun into space. A typical CME will blow 10 billion kilograms (about 22 billion pounds) of solar plasma into space along with enough energy to represent a flotilla of 220 aircraft carriers moving at 500 km/s. The fact the CME's are quite common says a lot about the power locked up in an ordinary star like the sun.

While 1 to 3 CMEs may occur every day, we only notice the ones that slam into the Earth on their journey across the solar system. When a CME crosses the Earth it runs into our planet's own magnetic field. Charged particles from the CME get trapped by the Earth's magnetic field and stream down toward the planet's surface near the poles.

When those CME particles, running down magnetic field lines, strike atmospheric gas atoms, the collisions cause the atoms to light up like Christmas tree bulbs. That is the origin of the simmering walls of color we called aurora. There was a time when pretty lights were all there was to space weather. Those days are over.

Before we became a high-tech culture, the collision of the CME with the Earth was no cause for alarm. Now space weather poses serious risks for everyone. For astronauts, the torrent of high-energy particles pose health risks via heavy doses of ionizing radiation. Orbiting satellites used for communications, weather prediction and a 100 other purposes can feel the blow too, as CME particles destroy solar panels and sensitive electronics.

Sprawling grids of power-lines on Earth can also feel the effect of all that CME current dumped suddenly into the atmosphere. Electric grids can overload and, without warning, millions of people might be plunged into darkness (as occurred in 1989, when a severe space storm caused a system-wide power failure in Quebec).

To deal with the problem, NASA and other space agencies have begun to continually monitor the Sun. As soon as a CME is observed, powerful supercomputers are engaged to predict its path through space. If the storm of matter and magnetism appears headed toward Earth then precautions can be taken like bringing astronauts in from space walks or putting satellites into "safe-modes" where their electronics will be less likely to suffer damage.

While there is enough remarkable science related to space weather to fill 20 blog posts, I want to end this description with the briefest of thoughts which never fails to astonish me. For thousands of generations the human habitation of this planet knew nothing of space weather. We knew Earth-bound winds and even learned to use those winds to become a sea faring race. When gossamer veils of light appeared in the northern skies we watched, wondered and prayed and then went about our business.

Now we have crossed a threshold. Now we have become a high-tech, space-faring race encircling the planet's surface with power-lines and its skies with orbiting satellites. There are other winds and other storms we must now be attentive to as we go about our business. In this way, as in so many others, our long childhood as a species has ended for better or for worse."