Saturday, 12 September 2015

Stunning news from ALMA - detection and image of formation of planets around a young star.

Stunning news from ALMA - detection and image of formation of planets around a young star.

 » see original post https://plus.google.com/+MarkHightonRidley/posts/EjrFbfURevd

Neon Sunsets and Technicolor Landscapes Painted by Grant Haffner

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Deeply influenced by a childhood spent growing up on Long Beach in Sag Harbor, N.Y., artist Grant Haffner tries to capture the color and feeling of sunsets burnt into his memories. Haffner works primarily with a mixture of acrylic, marker, pencil and paint pen on wood panels to create vibrant neon depictions of Long Island landscapes from the viewpoint of roadways punctuated with power lines. He shares about his paintings:

The East End of Long Island has been my home for most of my life. I spent many years exploring the trails through the woods, cruising the quiet country roads, and hanging out on the beaches. My childhood here, surrounded by nature and water, was an experience that I cherish. Now that I am older, I can see how the landscape is changing and am reminded that it will never be the same. Hopefully, my paintings will capture the memory of that landscape before it fades.

Haffner is represented by Damien A. Roman Fine Art where you can see more of his recent work. (via My Modern Met)

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#funandrandom 
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A distant planet’s interior chemistry may differ from our own

As astronomers continue finding new rocky planets around distant stars, high-pressure physicists are considering what the interiors of

The post A distant planet's interior chemistry may differ from our own has been published on Technology Org.

 
#astronomy 
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How come I never knew about this? - ASCII Star Wars Episode IV

How come I never knew about this? - ASCII Star Wars Episode IV

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Scientists make enzymes from scratch

Experts say they have achieved a scientific milestone - creating enzymes out of artificial genetic material that they made in their lab. 
#science 
 » see original post http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-30274635#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

Ad: Business cards are a small piece of your brand, carried around by others and that need to...

Ad: Business cards are a small piece of your brand, carried around by others and that need to speak for you whenever they see light of day. Make sure they give the right impression!
Which of these speaks in your voice?

 » see original post https://plus.google.com/+MarkHightonRidley/posts/gG6fUwweaH8

Kicking oil companies where it hurts: How to make fossil fuel divestment smarter

One of the most focused endeavors of the broader fight against climate change is the movement to demand divestment from fossil fuel companies. Specifically focused on institutional investors, divestment activists have been pressuring pension funds, university endowments, and others with significant holdings in the oil and gas sector to sell those shares (or bonds). This is a multi-pronged effort to raise awareness about how these industries fuel climate change, to divert that capital to low- and zero-carbon resources, and to deter future investment in oil and gas exploration.

As part of that campaign, February 13 and 14 have been designated Global Divestment Day(s), with hundreds of events organized by activist groups. The Norwegian sovereign wealth fund — the largest in the world, built from the country's oil and gas wealth — has announced it would sell holdings in coal and mining companies that, in its estimation, represent an unacceptably high degree of climate-related investment risk. The fossil fuel companies under target are pushing back, with ad campaigns focused on the important role their products play in the global economy.

With these events as a backdrop, a new report from the American Security Project (ASP), a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, casts a critical eye on the divestment movement. The report offers a sensible reminder of what fossil fuel divestment can and cannot do.

While divestment aims at supply-side solutions (trying to starve fossil fuel companies of the capital to fund new exploration and exploitation of reserves), it is beyond the scope of the divestment movement to address the demand side of the equation. Unlike the divestment in Big Tobacco (from which the current movement draws inspiration), coal, oil, and natural gas are not discretionary goods; they are critical to the global economy. Oil companies are not lying when they say people will still need to buy oil over the next 15 to 20 years. Replacements may be available on the horizon (paging Elon Musk), but supplying them at scale remains a challenge.

The financial impact of divestment also tends to be overstated. The ASP report and similar efforts, such as the Stranded Assets Programme at Oxford University, have demonstrated that complete divestment of university endowments from these holdings would, in the long run, have a negligible financial impact on the bottom lines of fossil fuel companies. Money would still flow into company coffers.

What's more, the universities and other organizations that divest could reasonably be accused of violating their fiduciary duty by forgoing money-making investments. That calculation will likely change as renewable-energy investments grow, especially with the proliferation of green bonds, but that market is still far from making steady gains year over year.

While the ASP report puts fossil fuel divestment in its proper place, it leaves open the question of whether the movement can be taken in a direction that is more useful to goals that both activists and analysts share.

Take the example of the Norwegian divestment. Its decision was not to divest from all fossil fuels. Instead, it is taking a measured approach that tries to identify the riskiest assets — and sell only those. Call it "divestment lite" — taking the well-intentioned motives behind divestment and deploying it in a much more targeted and tailored way. It will keep some assets that may be valuable in the intermediate term, but still send a signal to the market and public at-large that changes need to be made.

The ASP report rightfully points out one of the benefits of holding stocks in the first place: shareholder activism. To better leverage their activist network, fossil fuel divesters should follow the Norwegian model, focusing on the low-hanging fruit of coal, tar sands, and oil companies that are inadequately preparing their own businesses for future climate risk. Conversely, they should test the sincerity of companies such as Shell, and explore how to best work with them when their CEO says the oil sector needs to be more constructive in the debates over climate change solutions. Shell has been responsive to shareholder accountability efforts in the past, according to Reuters.

To the extent that the fight against climate change demands changes in a wide variety of consumer behaviors, fossil fuel divestment will have a role to play, even if its most vehement supporters may exaggerate its impact in order to rally support. Identifying better strategies for divestment campaigns will be a crucial factor in ensuring their effectiveness.

 
#science 
 » see original post http://theweek.com/articles/539059/kicking-oil-companies-where-hurts-how-makefossil-fuel-divestment-smarter

Sponsor // Discover Your Creative Side at New York’s 92Y Art Center

Developing your creative side can take a lifetime. Luckily, there's a place to expedite the process. The 92Y Art Center.

The Art Center is comprised of three world-class programs: Fine Art & Design, the Ceramics Center, and the Jewelry Center, which is the largest of its kind in the nation. It's where artists of every age and skill level discover their inspiration, fuel their imaginations, and chart their personal paths as creators. Classes start soon and run throughout the fall. Register now to receive 20% off with code Col20.

Join us for "Free Fall into the Arts Open House," an evening of free workshops, demos and open studios giving all in attendance an opportunity to meet with program directors, faculty and existing students. Come early, stay late—mix & mingle with fellow NYers in the Art Center. Thursday, September 17, 6—9pm. Learn more at 92Y.org/Fallarts.

 
#funandrandom 
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Latest Galileos closing in on launch

Europe's ninth and tenth Galileo satellites have been attached to the dispenser that will hold them during their

The post Latest Galileos closing in on launch has been published on Technology Org.

 
#astronomy 
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