Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Couple Items




NASA's Great Observatories Begin Deepest Ever Probe of the Universe

NASA's Hubble, Spitzer and Chandra space telescopes are teaming up to look deeper into the universe than ever before. With a boost from natural "zoom lenses" found in space, they should be able to uncover galaxies that are as much as 100 times fainter than what these three great observatories typically can see.

Hmm... I wonder what would happen if when the telescopes get powerful enough to peer even deeper into the cosmos the observers discover two colossal eyes staring back at them. Would they capture the visage in a quick snapshot and share it with the people of Earth? Or would the government declare it to be 'classified' and keep it  under wraps?

Who's to say? But then again, this is the era of the Whistleblower, of Edward Snowden and Julian Assange of WikiLeaks.

Edward Snowden?

JOHN CASSIDY, writing in The New Yorker, said: Is Edward Snowden, the twenty-nine-year-old N.S.A. whistle-blower who was last said to be hiding in Hong Kong awaiting his fate, a hero or a traitor? He is a hero. (My colleague Jeffrey Toobin disagrees.) In revealing the colossal scale of the U.S. government’s eavesdropping on Americans and other people around the world, he has performed a great public service that more than outweighs any breach of trust he may have committed. Like Daniel Ellsberg, the former Defense Department official who released the Pentagon Papers, and Mordechai Vanunu, the Israeli nuclear technician who revealed the existence of Israel’s weapons program, before him, Snowden has brought to light important information that deserved to be in the public domain, while doing no lasting harm to the national security of his country.

More . . .

If the subject of whistleblowers interests you, Wikipedia has a long list of them, each with a capsule description of who they are and what they did.



Did You Know . . .?

 The term "the whole 9 yards" came from W.W.II fighter pilots in the South Pacific. When arming their airplanes on the ground, the .50 caliber machine gun ammo belts measured exactly 27 feet, before being loaded into the fuselage. If the pilots fired all their ammo at a target,it got "the whole 9 yards."



On this day, October 26 in 1948, Betty Ferreri killed her husband, Jerry, in their Los Angeles, California, home with the help of house caretaker Alan Adron. When Jerry, a notorious womanizer, brought a young model to the couple's home in the upscale Hancock Park neighborhood, Betty became upset and threatened him with a large wrench. Although Jerry fled, Betty was worried that he would return in a violent state, so she asked for Adron's assistance. When Jerry later returned, he began dragging Betty by her hair. Adron shot him twice, but the gun jammed before he was dead, so Betty finished him off with a meat cleaver, striking him in the head 23 times.

But their marriage had more than its share of problems. Beating Betty on a regular basis, Jerry once asked his wife to have sex with an auto mechanic to pay off a bill he owed. When she refused, he ruptured her eardrum. Then, angry about the doctor's bill, he struck her other ear, reportedly saying, "Maybe he'll give you two for the price of one." On another occasion, he brought a puppy home for the couple's young child but then killed the poor animal with a baseball bat in front of the boy. Despite the clear evidence of abuse, prosecutors decided to charge Betty Ferreri and Alan Adron with premeditated murder.

In 1949, both Betty Ferreri and Alan Adron were acquitted.



A whistleblower is a person who exposes misconduct, alleged dishonest or illegal activity occurring in an organization.



(born October 26, 1947)
Hillary Clinton was the 67th United States Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, serving under President Barack Obama. She was previously a U.S. Senator from New York (2001 to 2009). Before that, as the wife of President Bill Clinton, she was First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001. In the 2008 election, Clinton was a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.

(born October 26, 1946)
Pat Sajak is an American television personality, former weatherman, actor and talk show host, best known as the host of the American television game show Wheel of Fortune.

(born October 26, 1945)
Jaclyn Smith is an American actress and businesswoman. She is best known as Kelly Garrett in the iconic television series Charlie's Angels, and was the only original female lead to remain with the series for its complete run (1976–81). Beginning in the 1980s, she began developing and marketing her own brands of clothing and perfume.

(born October 26, 1961)
Dylan McDermott is an American actor, known for his role as lawyer and law firm head Bobby Donnell on the television legal drama The Practice, which earned him a Golden Globe and an Emmy nomination, and his roles in the first two seasons of American Horror Story. He also starred in the TNT series Dark Blue as Lt. Carter Shaw.

McDermott currently stars as FBI Special Agent Duncan Carlisle in the CBS drama Hostages.


The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white. Neither need you do anything but be yourself.
--Lao Tzu


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