Police Fire Tear Gas On Kenyan Kids Protecting A Soccer Field
Hey, hey, it’s the snow monkeys at Lincoln Park Zoo source
With a walkie-talkie call from curator of primates Maureen Leahy Wednesday, an assistant in the holding areas beneath Lincoln Park Zoo’s new Regenstein Macaque Forest exhibit opened a door and the zoo’s troop of eight Japanese macaques spilled into their spiffy new habitat.
The medium-sized primates, commonly known as “snow monkeys” because they are often seen in the cold in their native Japan, checked out the new digs with the thoroughness of a prospective tenant sizing up an apartment.
The exhibit opening gave visitors their first glimpses of the animals and their elaborate hillside enclosure, complete with heated rocks and, come warmer weather, a stream, that now occupies an area where the zoo’s Penguin-Seabird House once stood.
A Japanese macaque walks past a heated pool while exploring its naturalistic habitat at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago.
People who are leaving on a jet plane pack clothes, toiletries and often something to pass the time. Passengers also pack heat, according to a Transportation Security Administration report released Friday that showed 2014 hit the bull’s-eye with a record number of guns seized by agents. The TSA said it discovered 2,212 firearms in carry-on bags at 224 airports — about six a day. About 83 percent of the confiscated guns were loaded, the department said. Last year’s number represented a 22 percent increase from 2013, when 1,813 firearms were discovered. The number of guns discovered at TSA checkpoints has risen nearly every year since 2005. The numbers paint a tapestry of Americans and their habits. Of the top 10 airports for gun seizures, Dallas/Fort Worth led the pack with 120. Three of the top airports were in Texas, with two in Houston. Florida also had three in the top 10. Nine of the top airports were in Southern rim states where there is a culture of guns and a tradition of forceful defense of gun rights. Denver also made the top 10 list — No. 5 with 70 seizures. As a Western state, Colorado shares the gun culture of the South and Southwest. TSA agents discovered not just small firearms, but a grenade and a loaded assault rifle with three loaded magazines. The agency also said more than 1,400 “firearm components, replica firearms, stun guns, and other similar dangerous objects were discovered” in carry-on luggage. “In many cases, people simply forgot they had these items,” the TSA said in a review of the data. One of the odder seizures came when a 94-year-old man tried to enter the checkpoint at New York’s LaGuardia Airport with a loaded .38-caliber revolver clipped to his belt. Then there is the 8.5-inch knife discovered in an enchilada at the Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport in California. The TSA noted that, “While this was a great catch, the passenger’s intent was delicious, not malicious, and she was cleared for travel.” firstname.lastname@example.org
Chipotle’s Pulled Pork Highlights Debate Over Sow Welfare
I’m sorry that the Indianapolis Colts have embarrassed themselves and us in the National Football League playoffs, beaten 45-7. But I have a nasty attitude toward the owners and management at the time for they way they sneaked out of Baltimore in 1984 to settle in Indianapolis. rjn BACKGROUND
When the Colts left town: the night that lives on in infamy
Raymond Berry Baltimore Sun SOURCE:
I was there that night. It was 28 years ago, in the snowy, pre-dawn darkness of March 29, that the Mayflower vans rumbled out of Owings Mills and the Baltimore Colts left for Indianapolis, ripping an entire city’s heart out in the process.
Just before midnight, we started getting calls on the sports desk at the old Evening Sun that there was unusual activity taking place at the Colts complex. At first we thought it was just a couple of crank calls. But more folks were calling in to report that the complex was lit up, with the sound of trucks echoing everywhere and security guards stopping anyone not authorized to enter.
I jumped in a car with two other Evening Sun reporters and a photographer and we went fish-tailing out of the Sun parking lot. We set a new land-speed record for the drive out there and arrived shortly after midnight.
The scene was absolutely surreal.
Our jaws dropped: it was true. The Colts were leaving town. Yes, it had been rumored for weeks that this might happen. But as one veteran TV sportscaster noted — this was the late, great Chris Thomas — it was like something out of a Fellini movie.
With the snow now blowing almost sideways, thick, white flakes were outlined against the dark green of the Mayflower moving vans as they roared out of the gates, one after the other in periodic intervals.
Some hired security goons prevented us from going inside. Even people who worked for the Colts that had been alerted to the move and were now trying to retrieve their stuff were refused entry.
So we stood outside the gates and interviewed everyone we could: stunned onlookers with tears in their eyes, disbelieving cops who had been called to the scene, the few Colts staffers who were allowed inside and were now leaving in their own cars.
The wind blew and the snow fell. We stayed out there for four hours as the moving vans rumbled out, until at last most of them were gone.
Then we thawed out with steaming cups of coffee in a diner on Reisterstown Road before racing back downtown to file our stories — the biggest story most of us had ever covered.
And all throughout that long, gloomy night, we turned to each other seemingly every few minutes to say in hushed tones: “Can you believe this is happening?”
Twenty-eight years later, it still feels like a dream. A bad dream.
Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Does anybody really know what time it is?
The cornucopia of connected electronic devices in our homes and offices sometimes display slightly different times, making us wonder why, in 2015, we can’t connect to some uber clock out there that can perfectly synchronize global timekeeping once and for all.
Standardized time, though, is a much more relative concept than many people realize. And behind the scenes today there is a robust debate about how to fine-tune the standard global clock, which exists in principle but is quite imperfect in practice.
Unbeknownst to much of the lay public, the standard time used across the world is adjusted by the tick of one second every few years—including this one—to ensure that clocks remain aligned to the solar time, based on the sun’s position in the sky, to which we’re all accustomed. Some critics, including the U.S. government, think adding a “leap second” is too disruptive on modern technology and should stop.
A quick history lesson: For decades, the global timekeeping standard most of the world followed was Greenwich Mean Time, which was derived from measuring the sun’s position in the sky at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London. British mariners, along with visiting ships, and railroads synchronized their clocks to the measure, and it spread around the globe. International time zones reflected the number of hours they were ahead of or behind GMT.
However, scientists recognized that Earth’s orbit is wobbly and irregular, and measures of time based on the planet’s rotation and sun’s position weren’t precise enough for their needs. So in 1972, the new gold standard for earthly timekeeping became Coordinated Universal Time, or UTC for short.
UTC isn’t based on any single timepiece, but on something called International Atomic Time, a weighted average of the times of more than 400 atomic clocks—devices that measure the passage of time with extreme accuracy through the vibrations of atoms.
But—and this is where time gets tricky—the atomic clocks are almost too accurate for ordinary earthlings to handle.
If left unadjusted over a few centuries, the disparity between atomic clocks and time based on the rotation of the Earth would gradually increase. The time of sunrise and sunset would be roughly a half-hour different than it is today. And in a few more centuries, it would expand to a full hour.
So, as a compromise of sorts to stay close to astronomical time, and avoid freaking people out, leap seconds are added to UTC when the atomic clock average edges toward 0.9 second different than time based on the rotation of the planet. That compromise allows elapsed time to be measured with atomic precision, while still linking time of day to the rotation of the Earth.
The next numerical adjustment is set to take place this summer, when the world’s official timekeepers will extend June 30 by one “leap second,” causing the final minute of the day to last an aberrant 61 seconds and momentarily delay the start of July. The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service, which monitors the position and movement of the planet, recommends leap seconds as needed.
Tinkering with time, even for a second, has consequences, however, and these adjustments can create real-world problems. And because leap seconds are introduced sporadically—there was a seven-year gap from 1998 to 2005 with none—adjustments to modern technologies can’t be systematized. On the fly, mistakes get made, and some systems fail.
“The last time we had a leap second, a whole bunch of websites went down,” said John P. Lowe of theNational Institute of Standards and Technology, which distributes standard time and frequency signals in the U.S. “It was like a mini Y2K.”
That year, 2012, the electronic reservation system for Qantas airline failed, delaying hundreds of flights and forcing the airline to check in passengers manually. Websites such as LinkedIn, Reddit and Yelp crashed. And Japan, concerned about potential errors, suspended the time-stamp system it uses to authenticate electronic documents for several hours while it adjusted its clocks.
The past disruptions have led the U.S. to lobby to eliminate the leap second. The International Telecommunication Union, which, among other things, develops standards that ensure networks seamlessly connect, is scheduled to vote on it at the World Radiocommunication Conference in November.
“It’s annoying,” said Edward D. Powers, GPS and Time Transfer Division Chief for the United States Naval Observatory. “You have to stop all the clocks and reset them by one second.”
Some systems—such as the Global Positioning System—don’t even bother to acknowledge leap seconds. As a result, internal GPS time doesn’t match civil time. GPS transmits a correction instead so receivers such as cellphones can convert the time to UTC for display.
But dropping the leap seconds would affect groups such as astronomers who depend on UTC and would have to rewrite or replace computer programs should the convention disappear.
Ultimately, the U.K. believes the problems have been minor and notes that eliminating the leap second would have ramifications also. Most notably, it would divorce time from the Earth.
“People have always taken the sun as a reference for timekeeping,” said Peter Whibberley, a research scientist at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington. “The U.K. is concerned we shouldn’t break the link without carefully weighing the consequences.”
How sexist is the US Senate? So far, only 44 women have ever served as Senators, meaning, according to this Politico article examining the gender imbalance in the upper house, the male Senators think they have the entire place to themselves — including the Senate pool, where they apparently swim with each other while naked.
This mind-searing anecdote comes courtesy of Sen. Kay Hagan (R-NC), who discovered this fact as a freshman Senator in 2008. According to the story, she was told that the Senate swimming pool was males-only, “because some of the male senators liked to swim naked.”
A spokeswoman for the Senate gym told a North Carolina paper at the time that the pool was open to everyone, but according to Politico, it seemed to be an informal rule that only exposed penises were allowed to bathe in the cool Senate waters:
It took an intervention by Senator Chuck Schumer, head of the Rules Committee, to put a stop to the practice, but even then “it was a fight,” remembers pollster Celinda Lake, who heard about the incident when the pool revolt was the talk among Washington women.
Until Fairly Recently, The YMCA Actually Required Swimmers To Be Nude
. . . Beam confirms my friend’s dad’s story, but notes that nude swimming classes weren’t just a YMCA thing. In fact, they were a national thing. The American Public Health Association mandated them from 1926 until 1962, and thousands of high schools around the country enforced the tradition . . . Story
Do You Harp A Slib Of The Ling? One Small Town’s Opaque Language
Instead, record warmth in other parts of the Pacific as well as the hottest year on record in Europe were some of the main drivers in fueling the heat. Joe Romm of Climate Progress also notes that heat in Australia early in the year and California’s hottest year further contributed to the heat.
Seasonal temperatures also paint a picture of a planet that didn’t get a break. Spring, summer and fall were all record-setting hot. Last winter was the only season not to set a record, and even that was still the sixth-warmest winter.
JMA is one of the four major groups that use both ground measurements and satellites to compute the planet’s average temperature. The other three include NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the U.S. and the Hadley Center in the U.K. There are subtle differences in how they analyze temperature data, but there’s generally broad agreement, particularly the upward trend in temperatures over the past century.
The other groups are expected to release their data in the coming weeks and confirm that 2014 was indeed the hottest year on record. And some scientists think it could get even hotter sooner. Strong trade winds in the Pacific have likely had a dampening effect on the global average temperature by essentially allowing the ocean to store more heat, but those winds are expected to weaken in the near future as part of a natural fluctuation.